November 2019

Bloomberg Businessweek

“A Dead Doctor, the Trauma of Sexual Abuse, and a Bank in Denial

For years, teenagers who got low-level jobs at Barclays were told they had to go to the house of a doctor named Gordon Bates. More than 120 of them say he assaulted them, and their fight to hold the bank responsible is going to the UK Supreme Court.

A case before the U.K. Supreme Court could establish whether Barclays is responsible for sexual assaults alleged to have taken place decades ago—and set a precedent for today’s gig economy.”

I was honoured to be commissioned to photograph this important and sensitive story for Bloomberg Businessweek earlier this month. Thanks to James and Anne for sharing their stories.

Project 16 Belfast

Project 16 continues it’s tour and is currently being exhibited at Belfast Exposed from 8th November – 21st December 2019.


Alejandro, Edinburgh, Robbie, Caithness, Callum North Uist and Cameron, Edinburgh, all aged 16, Project 16, 2017 - 2018 all images © Sophie Gerrard

Alejandro, Edinburgh, Robbie, Caithness, Callum North Uist and Cameron, Edinburgh, all aged 16, Project 16, 2017 – 2018 all images © Sophie Gerrard


Belfast Exposed is proud to present Sixteen. ‘What’s it like to be sixteen years old now?’ This is the central thread running through the ambitious, exhibition SIXTEEN. Photographer Craig Easton conceived this work following his engagement with first-time voters in 2014. Unlike the rest of the country sixteen year olds in Scotland were given their suffrage for the first, and as yet only time, in the UK.

Sixteen is an age of transition. At a time of increasing national and international anxiety, these young people are shifting from adolescence to become the adults who will live in a politically reshaped country, divorced from the European Union. It is an issue they had no say in. Working with photography, film, social media, audio recordings and writing, Craig and his colleagues give voice to those rarely heard.

The incisive portraits and the young peoples’ candid testimonies reveal whom and what they really care about and reflect the trust engendered between the sixteen year olds and the photographers. This adds potency to the work and highlights how social background, gender, ethnicity and location influence a teenager’s life.

Craig invited fellow photographers Robert C Brady, Linda Brownlee, Lottie Davies, Jillian Edelstein, Stuart Freedman, Sophie Gerrard, Kalpesh Lathigra, Roy Mehta, Christopher Nunn, Kate Peters, Michelle Sank, Abbie Trayler-Smith, Simon Roberts, and Ulster University MFA candidate David Copeland. They joined forces with him to develop the project, and together collaborated with more than one hundred and seventy young people from diverse communities across the country to explore their hopes, fears and dreams.


Sprouts for Tesco

Advertorial for The Guardian and Tesco this month took me to Drysdales Farm near the Scottish/English border to photograph the UK’s biggest grower of brussels sprouts, a vegetable which grows best when it can see the sea apparently.





solo show – Perth Museum and Art Gallery

  • I was commissioned by Perth Museum and Art Gallery to continue my long term project Drawn To The Land, the resulting work is currently being exhibited at the gallery until the end of October.


Laighwood, Perthshire, May 2019. From the series Drawn To The Land.  Image © Sophie Gerrard 2019 all rights reserved.

Laighwood, Perthshire, May 2019. From the series Drawn To The Land. Image © Sophie Gerrard 2019 all rights reserved


Lucy gathering ewes, Foswell, Auchterarder, Perthshire, June 2019. From the series Drawn To The Land. Image © Sophie Gerrard 2019 all rights reserved.


Lucy, Auchterarder, 2019 © Sophie gerrard all rights reserved.


Mary, Connachan, Perthshire, April 2019. From the series Drawn To The Land. Image © Sophie Gerrard 2019 all rights reserved.

Drawn To The Land continues to be a fascinating journey for me. For this chapter it took me to Perthshire, where I also worked with Perth Museums’ photographic archive, following the journey of John Watt who documented Laighwood, a hill farm near Dunkeld, in the late 50s. I returned to that farm and met and photographed Elizabeth, who features in some of Watt’s earlier images. I also continued to work with Mary, a farmer who featured early in Drawn To the Land, revisiting her and continuing her story. Anna and Lucy are in their 20s and work as contract shepherds in Perthshire, their lives are an important new addition, giving alternative perspectives and a fresh approach to a traditional farming way of life.

The exhibition includes images made earlier in the project, around 2015, these new works and archive images from John Watt’s collection made at Laighwood and other locations in Perthshire from 1959 – 1961.


Shepherd moving blackface sheep at Laighwood, Butterstone, Perthshire. Image by John Watt between 1959 and 1961, © Perth Museum and Art Gallery archive.

Elizabeth Bruges, Perth Highland Show. Image by John Watt between 1959 and 1961, © Perth Museum and Art Gallery archive.

Elizabeth Bruges, shown above in a photograph by Watt, at a time when her father oversaw the hill farm, is now herself an owner of Laighwood, alongside with her brothers, I met and photographed her for this recent chapter of the project. Hers is an interesting story and one which highlights in many ways the hurdles many women in agriculture faced at the time.

Elizabeth, Laighwood, Butterstone, Perthshire, May 2019. From the series Drawn To The Land. Image © Sophie Gerrard 2019 all rights reserved.

A photograph of Elizabeth gathering sheep, Laighwood, Butterstone, Perthshire, April 2019. From the series Drawn To The Land. Image © Sophie Gerrard 2019 all rights reserved.

Elizabeth Bruges of Laighwood, Butterstone, Perthshire with copy of The Story of a Scottish Black Face Sheep. © Paul Adair, Perth Museum & Art Gallery 2019 all rights reserved.

Paul Adair of Perth Museum said…

 ‘My  first encounter with Sophie’s exhibited work was at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in 2016. The Ties That Bind was a Document Scotland group show and Sophie was exhibited work from her Drawn to the Land series. I loved everything about her work. The quiet stillness of her studies- portraits of lives through carefully observed details. The colour palette of her film-based work seemed so right for the material she was recording.

Sophie’s series on women working the land included Mary McCall Smith’s farm near Crieff in Perthshire. I saw an opportunity to work with Sophie to develop her Perthshire work for a display at Perth Museum & Art Gallery. I am delighted that Culture Perth & Kinross has been able to commission Sophie to work with additional Perthshire women in farming. As well as making a fantastic exhibition, acquiring some of Sophie’s work is a valuable addition to the photographic archive here at Perth Museum & Art Gallery. The archive already has a strong documentary theme and this cross over between art and social document inherent to photography fulfils makes for a potent combination.’


Installation shot of drawn to The Land at Perth Museum and Art Gallery. July 2019

Installation shot of drawn to The Land at Perth Museum and Art Gallery. July 2019

Installation shot of drawn to The Land at Perth Museum and Art Gallery. July 2019

Document Scotland salon event

Delighted as always to be taking part in a Document Scotland salon event – we haven’t done one in a while, this one is at a favouriote place Stills, in Edinburgh – hope to see you there!

Polly Melville for The Guardian

Another interesting portrait assignment for Guardian Weekend came up a few weeks ago and was published today – Polly Melville, an inspiring individual from Tain, just north of Inverness. Polly was diagnosed with cancer at a young age and told she might become infertile due to chemotherapy. Her story is fascinating – and it was lovey to spend an afternoon with Polly and her beautiful little girl Ruby.

I’m pleased the paper used the portrait as a full page – here it is – and some outtakes below.

Polly Melville, at her home in Tain, Scotland, November 2018

Polly Melville, at her home in Tain, Scotland, November 2018


Polly Melville, with her daughter Ruby in Tain, Scotland, November 2018


Polly Melville, with her daughter Ruby in Tain, Scotland, November 2018



209 Women

It’s been an honour to be part of the 209 Women project – 209 women MPs in the UK Parliament by 209 women photographers. The works will go on show at Portcullis House in December 2018 to mark 100 years since (some) women got the vote in the UK. Deidre Brock is the SNP MP for Edinburgh North & Leith. A book will be published by Bluecoat Press in 2019.


RPS 100 Heroines

The Royal Photographic Society is running a campaign to honour one hundred photographic Heroines.

I’m super happy to be included in this amazing list of fabulous photography females.. thank you to those who nominated me.

The full list of those nominated can be seen as a PDF here 

From the Royal Photographic Society: “2018 is being hailed as the Year of the Woman, it marks the centenary of women’s suffrage in the UK and has seen significant steps taken to highlight women’s rights – from the #metoo and Times Up movements to increased awareness of the gender gap and global protests fighting for equality. Through the Hundred Heroines initiative, The RPS is adding its voice to the global discussion.”

Learn more about this RPS project at


We Feed The World exhibition

My images from the Western Isles featured in the exhibition We Feed The World from The Gaia Foundation at The Bargehouse Gallery, Oxo Tower, London 11th – 21st October 2018.

Angus MacDonald moves his Highland Cattle across the bay towards his croft at low tide, Ardbhan, North Uist, Outer Hebrides, image copyright © Sophie Gerrard 2018 all rights reserved

Curated by Cheryl Newman and bringing together an international team of world-renowned photographers, farming communities, farmers’ movements and civil society groups, We Feed the World is a unique and far-reaching communications initiative led by Gaia. It is designed to demonstrate the vital role of agroecology and food sovereignty for climate change resilience. Through powerful imagery and amazing stories of small scale, family farmers and local communities, We Feed the World will take this message out to the wider public.

Ena MacDonald, in her croft, Ardbhan, North Uist, Outer Hebrides, October 2017.

Over the last two years, 40 award winning photographers including Rankin, Martin Parr, Pieter Hugo and Gabriela Iturbide, have documented the lives of nearly 50 farming communities across six continents. The aim of these iconic images is to celebrate the work of the small, family farmers who provide over 70% of the world’s food in ecologically and socially just ways, and to highlight the challenges they currently face. By putting the spotlight on these farmers and their diverse cultures and landscapes, we counter the image of the poor, struggling farmer with a truer picture that celebrates their knowledge, resilience and overwhelming success.

The exhibition opened on the 11th October 2018 – with speeches from many involved, (including me), panel discussions and events.

It was a treat to meet John Vidal, former environment editor of The Guardian and take part in a panel discussion alongside him and Francesca Price of the Gaia Foundation on agroecology and the role of the media.

We Feed the World is open to the public at the Bargehouse Gallery on London’s Southbank from October 12th – 21st 2018, from 11 am to 6 pm daily. An inspiring programme of talks, workshops and films from farmers and communities from the food sovereignty movement, international activists, photographers and business leaders will run alongside at the Gallery and other venues.

Uist in the Telegraph

My images from North Uist and Benbecula which I made for the Gaia Foundation project We Feed The World were featured in the Telegraph Magazine Saturday Magazine this week.

With words by Lucy Davies, the work was made in November 2017, and published to coincide with the exhibition of the work at Bargehouse Gallery, oxo Tower, London in October 2018. Read the full article here




Ragadawn with Skye Atlas Arts

Wonderful experience watching and photographing the dawn performance on Skye last week, Ragadawn with Atlas. Quite a sublime and unique start to the day.

Fractured Stories finalist

I’m pleased to be shortlisted for Fractured Stories, a commission to document fracking in the UK run by the British Journal of Photography supported by Ecotricity, and I’m in good company.

The Shortlisted 8 are:

Néha Hirve

Jack Latham

Rhiannon Adam

Sadie Catt

Sophie Gerrard

Tadas Kazakevičius

Miguel Proença

Toby Smith


It’s encouraging to read here that the BJP consider my work Drawn to The Land one of the standout submissions.


From the BJP:

“An exclusive British Journal of Photography commission will give one photographer the opportunity to capture the untold stories surrounding fracking in the UK.

The final shortlist for Fractured Stories has been decided. For this exclusive British Journal of Photography commission, supported by Ecotricity, one photographer will undertake a six week project exploring fracking across the UK.

Fracking has long been a major issue throughout the US. Although the UK has large shale gas reserves, not a single well has been fracked since a ban on the process was lifted in 2013. However, this year has seen renewed efforts by the government to encourage the development of drill test sites throughout England. On 24 July 2018 the shale gas firm Cuadrilla was given the go ahead by the UK government to begin fracking at a well in Lancashire, propelling the subject back into the spotlight.

Over the six week project period, from mid-August to the end of September 2018, the competition winner will have the opportunity to develop their own creative approach to exploring this pressing issue. Looking beyond the headlines, the resulting body of work should approach the subject from a new perspective.

The judging panel – comprising Agata Bar, editorial director of NOOR Photo Agency; Izabela Radwanska Zhang, assistant editor of British Journal of Photography; and Dale Vince, OBE, founder of Ecotricity  – will now deliberate over which photographer should be selected for the commission.

Look out for an announcement of the winner, to be published on BJP’s website, in late-August.”


Truffle Hunting for FT Weekend Magazine

The good folks at the FT, Emma and Josh commissioned me in March to go truffle hunting – a secret location, a highly skilled spaniel and a valuable treasure to find… what’s not to like?

So it was that I spent a very enjoyable day with Joyce the huntress, Maxwell the spaniel and Dr Paul Thomas, a scientist who has made the study of this elusive fungus his life’s work, and the growing of them his business. Alas there were no truffles to be found that day … however it’s a joy being asked to shoot film for editorial clients, here’s the resulting tearsheet and some outtakes.

Read the full article here



Dr Paul Thomas with Joyce and her truffle hunting dog Maxwell. One of the world’s most expensive ingredients has been cultivated near Edinburgh in early 2018 after a sever-year wait. Researchers from Mycorrhizal Systems Ltd teamed up with local farmers to cultivate the summer or burgundy truffle. This is the first time the ingredient has been successfully cultivated in Scotland. Researchers believe the potential to cultivate truffles is increasing as a result of climate change. The summer or burgundy truffle is one of the most expensive delicacies in the world, with prices this season exceptionally high and reaching as much as £900 per kilogram. Truffles are prized for their intense flavour and aroma, but their natural habitat in continental Europe has been affected by drought due to long-term climate change. The truffle industry is projected to be worth £4.5 billion annually in the next 10 to 20 years. The first harvested Scottish truffles were used for further training but the largest, which weighed 45 grams, was received by chef Tom Kitchen of the Michelin-starred The Kitchen restaurant in Leith…



Drawn to The Land in French Magazine “ArMen”

I really enjoyed this interview, the piece is in depth and beautifully written (if my French can be trusted) and it’s excellent to see Drawn To The Land published over 12 pages in ArMen magazine.


10 From The North

Katherine Parhar has curated an exhibition at An Lanntair in Stornoway, on the Isle of Lewis including my work Drawn To The Land. This is on show from 10th March – 14th April 2018.

This exhibition of new photographic work from Scotland and the Nordic countries showcases some of the most interesting contemporary imagery being made by female practitioners. The Scottish-based Wildfires collective features established names such as Patricia Macdonald with her work ‘Burnt Moorland: grouse shooting’ and Sophie Gerrard with her ‘Drawn to the Land’ series focusing on women involved with farming. The exhibition also includes a wide variety of approaches to image making, with new work by Karen Vaughan, Margaret Mitchell, Sylvia Grace Borda, Miriam Chefrad and Kotryna Ula Kiliulyte.

New photography from Nordic countries will also be represented, with Icelandic photographer Sigga Ella’s ‘First and Foremost I am’, Norwegian photographer Andrea Gjestvang’s work focusing on the women of the Faroe Islands, and Finnish photographer Iiu Susiraja whose work offers a surreal exploration of self-portraiture.

This exhibition is a collaboration between Dr Katherine Parhar of Wildfires and FÒCAS Scotland, Alex Boyd of An Lanntair and the Flow Festival of Photography.


Brexit for The Washington Post

I was commissioned by The Washington Post to go to the very north of Scotland, and tell an important story about Brexit and the NHS.  I’m delighted they put it on Monday’s front cover.

Dr Andreas Herfurt is a German GP living and working in Bettyhill in Sutherland on the north coast of Scotland. “In a survey at the end of last year, the British Medical Association discovered that almost half of the European doctors working in Britain were considering leaving following the Brexit vote, and that nearly 1 in 5 were taking concrete steps — selling homes, looking for jobs.”

Read the full article here words by William Booth


Sutherland on assignment

I’ve been to the very north of Scotland again recently on assignment, my new wee car doesn’t know what’s hit it! This time though it’s incredibly inspiring – ideas for new projects are flowing.

It can be all too easy to see only the picturesque on these long drives, the views frequently takes my breath away and on the journey there is time to think, music on, long empty roads, big skies, panoramas…. I can’t get enough of it. However for me as a Scot it’s important to communicate some of the stories which lie hidden in these landscapes, many of which utterly contradict the beauty they present. Ecological, historical, social, political … there are endless complex stories of Scotland to be told – my mind starts going.

For now some pretty pictures, but watch this space …  hopefully.