'Untitled' from Colin McPherson's project 'Treasured Island', © Colin McPherson 2019.
A Contested Land examines the complex relationship between Scotland’s people, history and landscape through the work of four photographers. The contrasting series of works by the collective known as Document Scotland, was recently seen at the Martin Parr Foundation for the first time and now at Perth Museum and Art Gallery. This is followed by its exhibition in Dunoon and Inverness during 2019.
Document Scotland was founded in 2012 by four photographers – Colin McPherson, Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert, Sophie Gerrard and Stephen McLaren. Tired of the tropes and clichés which are often used to represent Scotland, their aim is to provide an accurate view of their nation today and disseminate their work beyond the borders. Although their work is contemporary, it acknowledges the past and its resonance with the present.
They work in a Scotland where vast tracts of wilderness have been scarred by centuries of mismanagement, marine resources are controlled by five all-powerful fishing families, the wealth of the richest is 250 times that of the poorest, and the population of its major cities continues to expand, whilst population growth in many other areas is flat lining, or even falling at an unsustainable level. With impending Brexit, climate change and unforeseeable global events, it is not possible to predict where Scotland will be in a generation’s time. It is against this backdrop that Document Scotland have created A Contested Land.