• Patricia's blackfaced ewes with windfarm turbines, 2013
  • Drawn To The Land is an ongoing and exploratory project which takes an intimate look at the contemporary Scottish landscape through the eyes of the women who are working, forming and shaping it. Working and living in a male dominated world, women have a significant yet under represent...

  • More often that not, that perspective is a male one, I was curious to understand it from a female view point. Female farmers are underrepresented in the UK, and yet, according to the Office of National Statistics the number of women in farming has increased by almost 25% in the last 1...

Patricia's blackfaced ewes with windfarm turbines, 2013

Patricia's blackfaced ewes with windfarm turbines, The Scottish Borders. January 2013

Connachan Farm, Crieff,

Perthshire, March 2013.

  • Drawn To The Land is an ongoing and exploratory project which takes an intimate look at the contemporary Scottish landscape through the eyes of the women who are working, forming and shaping it.

    Working and living in a male dominated world, women have a significant yet under represented role to play in farming in Scotland. Farming some of the most inhospitable and isolated rural areas of Scotland, these female farmers have an intense and remarkable relationship with the harsh landscape in which they live and work.

    The project aims to explore the domestic landscape as well as the physical, following the emotional story of the land as much as the historical and geographical. The women’s’ personal and physical stories reflect a wider story of our national identity, and emotional relationship with the landscape.

     

  • This project began in 2012 as a way of exploring my own relationship with the Scottish landscape. Having worked and lived away from Scotland for almost a decade working on environmentally focused photographic projects, I set out to understand the connection I, like many Scots, have with the landscape. It’s a great symbol of our national identity and nostalgia – but one which can often lead to a view of the picturesque, of romance and “rural fantasy”.

    My aim was to uncover something more authentic. And so began a personal journey for me, I wanted to scratch the surface, to go beyond the picturesque postcard view and learn about the land through the eyes of those who are responsible for it.

Mary at her kitchen window.

Perthshire, March 2013.

Mary’s home.

Connachan Farm, Crieff, Perthshire, March 2013

  • More often that not, that perspective is a male one, I was curious to understand it from a female view point. Female farmers are underrepresented in the UK, and yet, according to the Office of National Statistics the number of women in farming has increased by almost 25% in the last 10 years.

    Drawn To The Land has become a long term ongoing contemporary “portrait” of a number of female farmers in Scotland who shape and are shaped by their landscape.

     

  • Sybil, Mary, Sarah, Minty, Patricia and Lorraine are 6 remarkable women, each of them hill farmers taking responsibility for remote and diverse parts of the Scottish landscape. They have their own stories, but all talk of being custodians, not landowners. They demonstrate a great empathy with the livestock they have responsibility for and above all else, they talk of being drawn to hill, drawn to the land, and often of being unable to imagine themselves doing anything else.

    “Drawn To The Land” documents an emotional response to the subject of landscape. Each of these womens’ stories reflects a wider story of our national identity, and relationship with our landscape.

Deer skull on Sybil’s hill farm,

Argyll & Bute. March 2013.

Sybil with pet lamb Snowflake

Brackley Farm, Dalmally, Argyll & Bute. March 2013.

Shears, Brackley Farm

Dalmally, Argyll & Bute. March 2013

Patricia during lambing,

Threeburnford, Lauder, The Scottish Borders, April 2013.

Patricia at lambing,

Threeburnford, Lauder, The Scottish Borders, April 2013.

Sybil on her hill farm,

Brackley Farm, Dalmally, Argyll & Bute. May 2013

Gathering Achlian Hill,

Dalmally, Argyll & Bute. May 2013.

Fleece on the hill

Brackley Farm, Dalmally, Argyll & Bute. October 2013

Mary at the Dalmally Tup Sales

Dalmally, Argyll & Bute, October 2013.

Lorraine at the Dalmally sales

Dalmally, Argyll & Bute, October 2013

Dalmally Tup Sales

Dalmally, Argyll & Bute, October 2013

Sybil with Tibb gathering the hill,

Dalmally, Argyll & Bute. October 2013

Sybil with sheepdogs Tibb and Andy,

Achlian, Dalmally, Argyll & Bute. October 2013

Lorraine with Bess, Megdale.

Megdale Farm, Langholm, The Scottish Borders, January 2014

Lorraine’s kitchen,

Megdale, Langholm, The Scottish Borders, January 2014

Lorraine on her hill farm,

Megdale, Langholm, The Scottish Borders, January 2014

Fair knots in the pony's mane,

Connachan Farm, Crieff, Perthshire, February 2014

Mary’s home.

Connachan Farm, Crieff, Perthshire, February 2014

Minty on her croft

High Lee Croft, Bunessan. Isle of Mull, March 2014

Family photograph albums at Minty’s home

High Lee Croft, Bunessan. Isle of Mull, March 2014

Minty feeding the ponies

High Lee Croft, Bunessan. Isle of Mull, March 2014

Minty

High Lee Croft, Bunessan. Isle of Mull, March 2014

Shearing

Brackley Farm, Dalmally, Argyll & Bute. August 2014

Sybil’s home,

Brackley Farm, Dalmally, Argyll & Bute. August 2014

Megdale Farm

Langholm, The Scottish Borders, May 2015

Portrait of Lorraine’s grandmother in Lorraine’s home

Megdale, Langholm, The Scottish Borders, May 2015

Lorraine’s home

Megdale, Langholm, The Scottish Borders, May 2015

Skin coat for a foster lamb

Megdale, Langholm, The Scottish Borders, May 2015

Lorraine’s father’s compass

Megdale, Langholm, The Scottish Borders, May 2015

Photographs from Sarah’s childhood

Isle of Eigg 2015

Photograph in the farmhouse of Sybil’s mother and father

Brackley Farm, Dalmally, Argyll & Bute. May 2015

Flowers in Minty’s Mother’s silver cup

High Lee Croft, Bunessan. Isle of Mull, May 2015

Threeburnford Farm

Oxton, Lauder, The Scottish Borders, June 2015

Threeburnford Farm

Oxton, Lauder, The Scottish Borders, June 2015

Patricia's home

Threeburnford Farm, Oxton, Lauder, The Scottish Borders, June 2015

Sarah on her hill farm

Sandamhor Farm, Isle of Eigg, May 2015

Minty’s home

High Lee Croft, Bunessan. Isle of Mull, May 2015

A crook given to Sarah by her uncle

Sandamhor Farm, Isle of Eigg, May 2015

Dead lamb

Sandamhor Farm, Isle of Eigg, 2015

Minty’s washing line

High Lee Croft, Bunessan. Isle of Mull, May 2015

Sarah at Grulan

Isle of Eigg, 2015

Sandamhor Farm

Isle of Eigg, May 2015

Sarah on her hill farm

Sandamhor Farm, Isle of Eigg, May 2015

Wind-blown trees,

Isle of Eigg, May 2015.

Sybil

Achlian, Argyll & Bute. May 2015

Mary on her hill farm

Connachan Farm, Crieff, Perthshire, April 2015

Minty’s home

High Lee Croft, Bunessan. Isle of Mull, May 2015

Minty

High Lee Croft, Bunessan. Isle of Mull, May 2015

Sarah on her hill farm

Sandamhor Farm, Isle of Eigg, May 2015

Minty

High Lee Croft, Bunessan. Isle of Mull, May 2015

Sarah

Sandamhor Farm, Isle of Eigg, 2015

Antlers on Minty's farm

Sandamhor Farm, Isle of Eigg, May 2015

Sarah

Sandamhor Farm, Isle of Eigg, May 2015