Creative Process and Inspiration 

Can you describe a moment of unexpected inspiration that significantly influenced one of your major works? How did this moment change your approach to your art  

The Scotland ReDistilled project was the product of an interesting conversation in the pub. I had just finished work and went to grab a quick pint afterwards. I got chatting to a guy at the bar. It was one of those long meandering chats about life; he’d experienced some interesting times. This encounter stayed with me and kept resurfacing, reminding me that there is so much to be explored in the everyday stories that people have to tell. You can learn so much about life and history from a good story.

Not long after, I was working on a project with a mill in Peebles called Robert Noble and the film was a documentation of the process. I got chatting with the engineer, Kenny, who was in his early 60s and had worked there since he left school at 16. His story narrated that project and it completely changed how I thought about how I want to tell stories.

Challenges and Overcoming Them 

What has been the most challenging project or phase in your artistic career, and how did you navigate through it? What did you learn about yourself as an artist during this time?

When I moved to London my aunt passed away after a short illness and she and I were very close. It stalled a lot of momentum that I had at the time, I was in the process of moving to a new city and I had a great infrastructure and going through the process of the passing of someone close to me had quite a negative impact on my self-expectation and my creative process.

It was something that I had to work through over a year, as I started to pressure myself to continue working at the same rate and to the same level. This had a negative impact on my creative process. It made me realise that you need to do small things for yourself, and the rest will fall into place. Creativity is the process, not what you think the results should be.


Artistic Community and Collaboration

How do you view the role of community in the arts, and have you had any transformative experiences through collaboration with other artists or involvement in artistic collectives?

Being involved in the arts and the creative process can be a lonely place. Most of the successful people I know usually have a team behind them. I think that community is really important to fill in these gaps, talking and learning with other people is an essential part of being creative, especially in the modern world where we are even more isolated and it can feel like you are left behind.

In 2012 I was brought into a project where a lot of Glasgow-based artists and creatives were invited to Marseilles to represent the city and Scotland. I made a series of small films covering each of my peers' creative practices. It amazed me how everyone works so differently and it was eye-opening to see behind the scenes and the challenges everyone faces. There were a lot of transformative moments collaborating with this group of people; we developed something more, friends for life, people who can help you, because you never know when you might need it.


Impact and Audience Engagement 

What impact do you hope your work has on viewers or society at large? Are there any specific reactions or engagements from the audience that you found particularly memorable or rewarding?

 I love to see inspiring works that make a statement, for example the works of Sebastiao Salgado and Ai WeiWei. If viewers can take inspiration or joy from what my work is communicating, that is what it’s all about. I want to produce work that makes you think and ignites a conversation; this is while I embarked on the Scotland ReDistiled project.

I worked on a project called The Wait with jewellery designer, Euan McWhirter. It was a fashion exhibition showcasing his jewellery and told the story of women and jewellery through the ages through a series of large-format photographs. It was displayed for six weeks during the Edinburgh Fashion Festival in 2015 and garnered a really positive reaction from audiences. The feedback from my photography peers was really satisfying and many up and coming photographers approached me and used it as a source of inspiration, which was very gratifying.


Evolution and Future Directions 

How has your work evolved over the years, and where do you see your artistic journey taking you in the future? Are there new mediums, themes, or projects you are eager to explore?

I started as a classically trained photographer who trained in film and darkroom processing. Over time things have moved to digital and then into motion, my work now involves mixed media. This process now means that I can approach projects with many different methods of capturing it, what tone I would like to take and the output of that means that I can present this in different ways.

At the moment I am interested in how sound and video link together. Playing with ambient sound and blending it with music and audio excites me.

I started Scotland ReDistilled to learn about Scottish oral history, great stories, unique experiences to collaborate with people, and most of all, to explore our shared history and heritage..


About the Festival 

What are you looking forward to most about the Pittenweem Arts Festival

It is great to be able to be at the Festival, talking to other artists, getting feedback and talking to the visitors. It is a unique privilege to talk to people about your work. Most often you put your work out there and, beyond the exhibition opening night, you don’t get much response. The Arts Festival is an opportunity to engage with people and other artists, hopefully helping to develop ideas further and discover opportunities to collaborate.



Sign up to our mailing list

© Copyright. All rights reserved.

Registered Charity: SCO24165 

Company Limited by Guarantee: SC233084 

Registered Office: 47 High St, Pittenweem, KY10 2PG 

We need your consent to load the translations

We use a third-party service to translate the website content that may collect data about your activity. Please review the details in the privacy policy and accept the service to view the translations.