Overdue retirement from the Civil Service in Manchester and a determination to escape to Scotland resulted in Martin & Gill moving into ‘Schoolhouse’ in April 2019 and enjoying a very different way of life.
The land of the big open skies with its tiny coves, rocky headlands, cliffs, small harbours and wide expanses of sand lie to the west; while eastwards more cliffs, harbours and rocky headlands before you turn the corner to view sand dunes behind beaches fronting the North Sea. The hinterland changes from the flat plains to rolling hills, farmland, forestry and scattered villages. No railways now in the area, minimal buses, one shop and now no school or hotel/inn … why here?
We had holidayed and visited Scotland many times and had family living here both past and present. The west coast initially beckoned but the rainy climate was a factor that took us to the sunnier, milder microclimate along the Moray Coast. Very different and less dramatic scenery than the west, quiet roads and considerably cheaper housing that resulted in a home with a sunroom and a studio in the garden!
Winds come from all directions here, sometimes on the same day, but we are to some extent sheltered by our 100m height above the bay and 1.5k from the shore. It is only when you watch the sea and hear the breakers crashing in or covering the lighthouses with spray that you realise just how precarious life as a fisherman could be. From upstairs or a short walk we have glimpses and sweeping views of Aberdour Bay respectively, where when a storm is expected ships seek protection. The winds also prevent the dreaded midge, so common on the west coast, while the Cairngorms provide relief from the prevailing south westerly rain that can affect most of Scotland.
Our village of about 300 people, has two main roads and routes going in four different directions. Aberdeenshire’s Coastal Route North runs from Fraserburgh via Rosehearty, Pennan, Crovie and MacDuff to Banff. New Pitsligo and the main Fraserburgh to Inverness route, then Thurso (four hours), Orkeny and Shetland, or head to Strichen and Aberdeen (one hour) where hopefully the ferry to Scandinavia will come back in service. It is rumoured that continuing on south you cross the international border and take the ferry from Newcastle to Europe or continue to Dover and on into France.
We are nearer to Bergen (Norway), Belfast and Dublin (Ireland) than to London!
Artmoments ~ blurring the boundaries of photography and entering the realms of Abstract and Fine Art, with a touches of impressionism, and modern art thrown in.
Artmoments ~ where identifying location may disappear… although some may have the key to unlock information.
Artmoments ~ definitely experimental and definitely not the way it is normally seen or WYSINWYG [What you see is not what you get]
Artmoments ~ taking a slice out of our field of vision as seen conventionally, re-arranging and adding to the image by extending boundaries, adding layers, accentuating or playing with particular colours and light.
Artmoments ~ definitely ‘making’ images not ‘taking’ them…
Concerned Photography ~ Social Documentary work where the individual images are always part of a something bigger, and whilst some may work in isolation, context is vital to fully understand the meaning.
Mostly in monochrome, often challenging and certainly sometimes is not comfortable.
Concerned Photography ~ not normally ‘liked’ on Facebook but sometimes generates comments as the work touch viewers.
Martin attended Guildford School Of Photography / West Surrey College of Art in the 1970s and later took an MA in Documentary Photography from Newport School of Photography, University of South Wales. Martin has been an Associate of the Royal Photographic Society for 15 years.