“I had been looking for a subject for a series of images a when I happened to catch a news report on the signing of the Edinburgh Agreement between David Cameron and Alex Salmond. It was mentioned that there were ‘100 weeks to the referendum’ and I knew then that I had found a theme for a project.
“Although the lead-up to the vote was to be the timescale that the project hung from I wanted it to be a portrait of the nation as a whole in the weeks and months leading up to the referendum. I think that, whatever may happen in September of next year, Scotland will be a fundamentally changed country afterwards and I wanted to document what feels to me like a defining moment.
“The scale of the project only really hit me after I had completed the photos for the first week – I suddenly realised how much work and time I was going to have to put in over the coming two years. What I didn’t realise then was the absolute pleasure the project was to become and having the excuse to travel all over Scotland is a never-ending joy.
“Of all the trips I have made so far I most enjoyed Dunnet Head and Ardnamurchan Point. I drove from Edinburgh to Dunnet Head and then on to Ballachulish in one day and it is a lot further than it looks on the map. Doing it in mid-winter was probably not a wise choice although the weather was stunning but with so little daylight there is not too much time for photography. Another highlight was Ladies Day at Musselburgh Racecourse – I could probably have filled an entire book with the images I took that day.
“As I look back on what I have completed so far what is hugely apparent to me is where I have yet to go. I have as yet not left the mainland (a quick day-trip to Bute the exception) and have probably spent too much time around the central belt. Trying to organise trips away around my normal photography work can be difficult but I aim to get to the islands and the fill in some other gaps in the weeks ahead.
“I have always said that I want the project to be politically neutral but what I have found is that while it is quite easy to be neutral it is a lot harder being seen to be neutral. It can be a tricky path to tread.
“Most of all I want to show the country as it is, both good and bad. A run down pub in Cowdenbeath is just as valid and just as Scottish as a sweeping Highland panorama.
“I have still well over half the project to complete but I am enjoying it more every week – although probably not as much as my black Labrador who is the true beneficiary in terms of walks as I crisscross Scotland.”
A selection from 100 Weeks of Scotland