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.
Sophie Gerrard (Scottish, b.1978) is an award winning photographer specialising in contemporary documentary stories with strong environmental and social themes.
Working regularly for clients including The Guardian, Financial Times and The Telegraph, Sophie’s work has been exhibited internationally in solo and group exhibitions and is now held in private and national collections. She is represented by The Photographers’ Gallery in London.
Born in Edinburgh in 1978, Sophie graduated from The Manchester University in 1999 with a BSc Honours degree in Environmental Sciences. After working as an environmental consultant with Manchester University she returned to Edinburgh and studied BA photography at Edinburgh College of Art. Sophie’s passion for documenting environmental and social issues lead to a MA in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography from the London College of Communication in 2006.