Opened to the public today, 7th November, is the Three Views of Islay exhibition at the Dunoon Burgh Hall Pop-Up Gallery at 33 Argyll Street.
This features photographs taken on Islay by three photographers – Islay based professional Mark Unsworth; long time Islay resident and former NATO Secretary General, George Robertson [Baron Robertson of Port Ellen], who went to school in Dunoon; and local SNP MSP, Michael Russell, who lives near Colintraive in Cowal.
The work of each is worth seeing. Both of the politicians are keen and experienced photographers and George Robertson’s election are a knock out in the quality of his eye for an image, his composition and his professionalism.
Some personal favourites from the show include Michael Russell’s Cloudburst, Port Askaig – taken though a car window waiting to board a ferry? This captures just the sort of downpour that penetrates to scalp and skin.
Mark Unsworth’s Wreck of the Wyre Majestic is a memorably detailed monochromatic study, with the power of detail echoed in his Windswept. Just looking at that one promotes instability.
George Robertson’s Saligo Sunset is a liquid composition; Cattle on the sand at Lossit Bay is powerful in the impact of the relative scale; and Oyster Catchers at the Big Strand is a stand out image, in the geometry of the brilliant white undersides of the birds rising in flight. This is one of those enviable shots of the ‘How on earth did he get that?’ variety.
Islay is an island of the mind as much as an island of complex and beautiful physicality. Together these images by these three photographers capture much of Islay’s potency.