New photography project on the Flow Country peatlands
My name is Sam Brown and I'm a photographer based in Bristol and a recent Cromarty Arts Trust artist-in-residence.
I spent time with the Trust during June 2021, focusing on a new series I'm producing on the peatlands of the Flow Country in the far north of Scotland. The aim of the series is to tell a story about these beautiful and remote landscapes, particularly in terms of their important role as a carbon sink. If all of the carbon stored in Scottish peatlands were released through activities which dry them out and degrade them such as mismanaged forestry, it would be the equivalent of 140 years worth of Scotland's greenhouse emissions emitted into the atmosphere. With this in mind, from a climate change perspective, its crucially important that the peatlands are preserved.
During my time at my Cromarty residency in June, I would spend the week editing photos within Ardyne House, the artists residency house, and then drive up to the Flow Country at weekends in my little campervan, Juno. My favourite time of day to shoot was around 10pm at night, when the long midsummer light had softened and there was no one else for miles around. In addition to the peatlands, I shot some portraits of scientists who have been instrumental in conserving them. I've also photographed buildings and farmsteads on the peatlands, to give a picture of local life and to show the important role that the community plays in this part of the world.
I'm returning to Cromarty in September this year and am keen to make links with local people and scientists who have association with the peatlands in Caithness and Sunderland and who may want to be involved in my project in some way. I've also made links with several environmental organisations who have taken an interest in my project and are keen to support me to have an eventual exhibition, at some point this autumn, hopefully in time for COP26.
If you would like to get in touch, please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org. You can check out some recent work from the series on my Instagram, which is www.instagram.com/__sam_brown__, and some older work on my website www.sambrownstills.com.