Finn Gibson (b.2000, London, UK) is a photographic artist whose practice encompasses the use of photography as a tool to interrogate, investigate and survey the British landscape. He utilises the lens-based medium as a way of recording the intimate relationship formed whilst situating oneself within a landscape.
Eilean an Fhraoich (Isle of Lewis)
Eilean an Fhraoich is my latest working title and translates as The Isle of Lewis, referring to the northmost island situated on the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. I have had a long-standing love affair with these islands since moving to Glasgow in 2019, making many a trip to each and every one as regularly as possible. I have made work on a handful of islands but this time it was necessary to dedicate my practice focusing on just one, Lewis it was to be.
Spending a total of 15 days on the island, I made two separate trips from Glasgow to Stornoway. In this time, I made photographs every day, typically waking up before the sun had risen and returning in darkness. January and February are the months I had chosen to journey north and make this body of work. Weather is extreme and tourism non-existent. I was to be labelled an outsider and remain an outsider, but this didn’t bother me too much, the photographs were to be a depiction of my relationship with the place. Just the island, myself, and a camera. What you see before you are the results of my experience.
The photographs are an investigation into the island’s landscape, a topographical survey for use of a better word. My attempt was to make images that resonate a precise engagement with the habitation of the island. It was to be a solitary exploration throughout all parts of this mind-blowing landscape, the camera being my chosen tool, recording meticulously the dialect and connection I made with place and space. I would plan a walking route each evening before the following day commenced, tracing my way around coastlines and peat bogs. I became quickly in tune with the rapidly changing weather, regularly experiencing all four seasons in the space of an hour. The process of using a 5×4 camera requires immense patience and precision, a way of making pictures that is extremely simple and delicate. When you’ve walked across eight miles of bog and dormant heather, you find yourself in a landscape so still, so sublime, you become at one with both yourself and the place surrounding you. 15 minutes pass and you are all set up, patiently waiting for the light to change, and then it’s go time. It’s a matter of seconds before you miss it. These moments I cherish more than anything and is ultimately why I make photographs.
‘Eilean a Fhraoich (Isle of Lewis)’ @ The GSA Degree Show 2022