Friday, 20 November 2020




Now available to pre-order from Another Place Press
Due for release Dec 2020

78 pp / 250 x 200mm
Perfect Bound
Fedrigoni papers:
350gsm Satin cover
170gsm Satin text
120gsm Materica endpapers
Edition TBC
ISBN 978-1-8383119-0-2

Also available as a Special Edition, limited to 30 copies - each with an A4 limited edition inkjet  signed & numbered print 



Tuesday, 17 November 2020

INNER SOUND : Robert Macfarlane

“There's something original and ambitious at work here; a shard-like hard-cutting between image and place and text. Sometimes it's bewildering -- but then that's true of the places Stewart is fascinated by as well. There's a winter-chill to the mountain photographs, and a storm-ferocity to the seascapes, that's born of somewhere between muteness and confusion.”

Robert Macfarlane

Monday, 9 November 2020

INNER SOUND : Alastair MacKay


When I first became aware of the photographs of Iain Stewart, the humanity bled through. Working on editorial jobs, he was quite unlike a news photographer. He was patient, unobtrusive, polite. Doing portraits, he didn’t impose. He illuminated. Iain created a series called Self Portrait, in which celebrities were asked to sketch their own likeness, and were then photographed with the cartoon. This was long before the smartphone selfie. It wasn’t about posing. It was an act of disarmament, and the results were startling. It didn’t matter whether the subject could draw. They were forced to make a decision about how they wanted to be seen. Mostly, the portraits acted as a two-way mirror. It was a playful interrogation, an act of consent. It was fun, not therapy. Though, on at least one occasion, the subject decided that not being seen at all was better than submitting to this casual confession. 
Years later, on a visit to the Photographers’ Gallery in London, I was shown a quite different side to Iain’s work. There, in an imposing folder, were some of his large format landscape photos. Actually, landscape isn’t right. These were seascapes. More accurately, they were horizons, photographed with such coolness and distance that the Earth became abstract; colour scarred by a line. But where were the people?
The lines are messier on Iain’s recent work, the focus less razored, but the photographer’s intentions remain. It may seem like a logical absurdity, but the storm-lashed landscapes of Innersound are as meditative and self-reflective as any self-portrait. There’s a painterly condensation in the images, a mizzle of Turner, a fret of Rothko, and maybe a musical echo or two. You might detect an element of masochism in the deteriorating conditions, as the photographer ventures through inhospitable landscapes to far flung coasts; or you might just accept the metaphorical logic and concede that life gets messy, and that there is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothes. The writer Robert Macfarlane observes: “There’s something original and ambitious at work here; a shard-like hard-cutting between image and place and text. Sometimes it’s bewildering - but then that’s true of the places Stewart is fascinated by as well. There’s a winter-chill to the mountain photographs, and a storm-ferocity to the seascapes, that’s born of somewhere between muteness and confusion.”
If biography helps, the pictures were the result of a painful reflection on the death of Stewart’s father, after a slow retreat into Alzheimer’s disease. As with any act of poetry, the purity of the artist’s intent points to something more universal. Death is the starkest part of that equation, and while there is no diluting its finality, there are comforts to be found in the swells and eddies of the tide, in the life cycles of rain and renewal, and the optimistic sense that a storm endured is a storm defeated. That experience can be savoured and passed on so that the journeys of others may feel less perilous. 
These pictures are storm warnings. But they also follow filmmaker Agnes Varda’s famous formulation. “The tool of every self-portrait is the mirror,” Varda said. “You see yourself in it. Turn it the other way, and you see the world.”

Alastair MacKay
Spring 2020

reproduced by kind permission of Studies In Photography

INNER SOUND - - in the ether

 coming soon...

Sunday, 8 November 2020



 A momentous day as the Scottish National Portrait Gallery re-opens after being closed for almost eight months due to Covid19. 

The opening exhibition is You Are Here | 2020 : Stories, Portraits, Visions

It's Joe!












Breathe the new day, baby, wild and free
As alive and fresh as it used to be
Spring wind blowing straight through the window
And a message tied to the breeze



Tuesday, 3 November 2020

New hope, half-forgotten joys

Rilke: The Apple Orchard

Come just after the sun has gone down, watch
This deepening of green in the evening sward:
Is it not as if we’d long since garnered
And stored within ourselves a something which

From feeling and from feeling recollected,
From new hope and half-forgotten joys
And from an inner dark infused with these,
Issues in thoughts as ripe as windfalls scattered

Under trees here like trees in a Dürer woodcut –
Pendent, pruned, the husbandry of years
Gravid in them until the fruit appears –
Ready to serve, replete with patience, rooted

In the knowledge that no matter how above
Measure or expectation, all must be
Harvested and yielded, when a long life willingly
Cleaves to what’s willed and grows in quiet resolve.

Seamus Heaney

Sunday, 1 November 2020

Saturday, 31 October 2020

Into Tomorrow (2020)


Covid Testing station, Edinburgh Airport, October 2020

Sunday, 25 October 2020

Time to be slow


This is the time to be slow,
Lie low to the wall
Until the bitter weather passes


John O'Donohue

To Bless the Space Between Us, 2008  

Friday, 23 October 2020

Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Sheffield : 1991

I’d left South Yorkshire in the mid 1980s to study at Art School in Edinburgh but it was still the place I still thought of as home. The city, like so much of the North, had paid a grim price through a decade of Thatcher; the rapid decline of the steel industry, scores of empty factories, the devastation and conflict of the Miners Strike, record levels of unemployment. Yet I clearly recall sensing a defiant optimism in the air when I returned in late 1990. It was my first visit to The Untitled Gallery since the move to Brown Street and there was a distinct creative buzz growing in the surrounding area; you can’t crush spirit; attack us and we just come back stronger, with more attitude. What would become the Cultural Industries Quarter was getting up and running; music and art scenes were busy beavering away. Sheffield always does great music scenes. I worked late in the darkrooms to bangs and bleeps from upstairs; you never knew who’d be coming down the stairs from Warp Records. Boy George popped into the café for a bowl of soup. (He politely declined a photo “I haven’t got my slap on’”). Heck, David Essex was recording round the corner. A local astronaut was even back down in town for the summer… and work was progressing on a big new shopping centre just out of town.  

 I’d photographed Glasgow’s year as City of European Culture in 1990, documenting some of the green shoots of cultural regeneration up close. There was every reason to feel equally sanguine about what might lie ahead for Sheffield. My brief was to cover as much of the XIV Universiade as I could. July was a packed month of community arts events, music, theatre, poetry recitals, talks – book-ended by the Opening and Closing ceremonies of World Student Games, held in the newly opened Don Valley Stadium. I remember Sheffield 1991 as a summer of positivity, energy and hope. Good will, hard graft - and yes, probably a bit of improv and blagging it but with the right mix of caffeine and adrenalin everyone somehow got through a hugely ambitious programme more or less intact. History notes the financial and strategic complications, the blips and bloopers; my pictures don’t. They were not intended as PR gloss, but there’s no bad stuff to be found here anyway. Suspend the cynicism; these shots were candid and well intentioned, and I hope caught something genuine of the moment.  


There’s vibrancy and energy, youngsters from all over the globe parading through the city streets blowing whistles, laughing, waving flags. Union colours proudly abound, and sit happily next to symbols of our ties to European friends and neighbours – frontiers open, hands joined. There was a joy, optimism, coming together for sport, competition and celebration. Cultures rubbed up against each other just fine, local communities partied, it felt outward looking and inclusive. In the midst some art was born and documents were made – I was there, Sheffield stepped up - this is the proof. 

Sunday, 4 October 2020




The publication of Leaves is inspired by David Ainslie who after his death in 1900 left his wealth to fund a convalescent hospital in the south side of Edinburgh. Patients would have practical help from the hospital in a green place where they could benefit from being in nature. With the establishment of the NHS this hospital became government property - and it has been managed by them since 1948. The proposal now is to dispose of the hospital and fund more concentrated sites. The Astley Ainslie Community Trust hope the NHS and the Scottish Government will keep the Hospital in public hands and as a green space in the heart of a crowded city for public health and happiness.
‘This land is public property. It was historically part of the common good of Edinburgh and should be dedicated to a continued interest in nature, our health, wellbeing and creative pleasures.’

- Sara Stevenson

Sunday, 20 September 2020

Sunday, 13 September 2020

Friday, 4 September 2020

Thursday, 9 July 2020

Friday, 26 June 2020

Cape Wrath

Cape Wrath 2009


Studies for MIND

'Studies for Mind’⁣ is working with Support in Mind Scotland, an organisation providing crucial support for people with mental health⁣ issues.

'Studies' have set up a photography sale to raise funds, providing an opportunity for you to own an image by one of the UKs top creative folk - and raise money for charity in the process.

All A4 prints are being sold as unlimited edition prints for the very special price of £50 + P&P. The work is on sale for one month, from June 24th until July 24th. 100% of the proceeds goes to Support In Mind Scotland. 

Visit Studies in Mind


Final image from the 2009 series DARKEDEN. This piece is also on display in the Sanctuary, the contemplative non-denominational space for quiet thought,  meditation and prayer at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

Monday, 8 June 2020

The knowledge of care

The National Galleries of Scotland have revisited the TENDER project, made in 1999 to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the NHS. New interviews and some previously unpublished images, published here on the National Galleries of Scotland website.

With thanks to curators Liz Louis and Anne Lyden, Dr Ninian Hewitt and Dr Susan Moir and the patients of the Longhouse Surgery.

God bless our National Health Service! 

Sunday, 17 May 2020

Lost Landscapes // Way To Blue

Unseen 'lost' work from the LAND/SEA/SKY series 1995-2005