Image by Alex Boyd. Boyd is a Scottish-German visual artist, writer and curator who will debut a new body of work at Stills, Edinburgh this Autumn, which explores the unseen uses of the Scottish landscape by the military. The exhibition runs from 30 September to 13 November 2021.
Boyd's work examines landscape, identity and the underlying tensions which exist in place. He works primarily as a photographer and printmaker, a practice which has incorporated early techniques such as wet-plate collodion and calotype through to contemporary image capture systems such as drones. This new work, made over several years, develops themes explored in his Saltire Award shortlisted book St Kilda - The Silent Islands.
The Scottish landscape is one which is heavily utilized by the military, with the Ministry of Defence one of the largest landowners in the country. In this new exhibition, Boyd explores the largely unseen places used to train our armed forces and those of our NATO allies.
From the remote bombing ranges of Cape Wrath and Tain Air Weapons Range in the North, to the tank and infantry training areas of Kirkcudbright in the South West of the country, Boyd has walked and documented several hundred miles of a land often hidden behind red flags. Here in the vast stretches of open countryside, relics from a century of conflict from World War One through to the Cold War, Bosnia, Northern Ireland, and the recent failed campaign in Afghanistan stand as monuments and reminders of Scotland's and Britain's role on the world stage.
Working with archaeologists, ecologists and conservationists, another more complex narrative also begins to emerge - a place where nature thrives among burned-out vehicles and shell craters.
Stills is a centre for photography based in the heart of Edinburgh. We offer exhibitions and production facilities as well as a range of engagement opportunities for anyone to discover, enjoy and understand photography. Stills was established in 1977. Since that time it has become a champion for the important and powerful role that the medium of photography plays in the world today.
The exhibition runs from 30 September to 13 November 2021.