Self Portrait at the Outlandia Artist Studio Hut, Glen Nevis
In July 2017 I was awarded an artist residency to continue my work exploring Scotland’s forestry. I spent my time learning about the variety of plant species in the surrounding area and photographed a variety of them in my make-shift studio within the hut.
The Foxglove is native to Britain and is capable of producing a million seeds which is why the plant has become so widespread. Its medicinal properties date back to the Romans and is the original source of the drug Digitalis, which was used to treat particular heart conditions. Despite its striking beauty, the flower has acquired particularly ugly names such as 'dead man's bells' because of the toxicity of the entire plant.
Common Heather is the most dominant and resilient species of heather in Scotland as it carpets huge areas of land across the lowlands and uplands in a variation of both sheltered and unforgiving environments. The plant was traditionally used to make domestic brooms which is how it has earned its Latin name. “Calluna” derives from the Greek word “kallunein” meaning ‘to sweep’ or ‘cleanse’. It is argued that the widespread distribution of heather in Scotland is partly due to the management of land by man. Heather moorland has replaced vast areas of forestry through agricultural practices such as heather burning for grazing and grouse shooting. The revival of the forests is subsequently impeded for the maintenance of the heather moorlands, dramatically changing the natural landscape.