Moray Firth fishing communities exhibition opens

'At Sea', featuring the photographs of Paul Duke, will run until 5 January. Picture: Contributed
'At Sea', featuring the photographs of Paul Duke, will run until 5 January. Picture: Contributed
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A NEW exhibition of photographs, celebrating the lives of the men and women who work in the fishing communities of the Moray Firth, opened today at the gallery at Duff House in Banff.

“At Sea”, featuring the photographs of Edinburgh photographer Paul Duke, will run at the gallery until 5 January.

Picture: Contributed

Picture: Contributed

A spokesman for Historic Scotland said: “Between 2009 and 2012, Duke amassed around 100 portraits, all of which were shot on location using a portable studio set-up in harbours, shipyards, factories and sheds.

“The images also feature in an accompanying book, At Sea, which includes an afterword by the late painter John Bellany – who himself drew inspiration from coastal communities - in which he describes Duke’s photographs as ‘noble portraits of noble individuals.’”

Sector ‘key to North east economy’

The exhibition was opened by Stewart Stevenson, the SNP MSP for Banff and Buchan.

He said: “Paul Duke’s work documents the fishing industry - a sector that has long been key to the North east’s thriving economy. I was pleased to welcome Paul to Parliament in May when he displayed his work there, and I am delighted that he has taken the opportunity to showcase his work in the area that it is focussed on.”

Lorna Ewan, Head of Visitor Experience, Content and Learning at Historic Scotland said: “Duff House is a spectacular location and will provide the perfect backdrop for this fascinating exhibition. Paul Duke’s work explores an industry which plays a significant role in the identity of the North East, and visitors to Duff House will be given a unique opportunity to find out more about the people behind that industry through his beautiful portraits.”

Duke gained a Master of Arts degree from the Royal College of Art in 1989.

After living and working in Emilia Romagna in Italy, he returned to the UK where he has been lecturing in photography. His work is held in both private and public collections, including the National Portrait Gallery in London and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh.