Island Darkroom is delighted to announce CEARNS, an exhibition of work made by award-winning Isle of Lewis photographer, Deljeem Rai, representing his first solo show and first exhibition on his home island.

Deljeem is a Nepali photographer based between his studies at Glasgow School of Art and his home of the Isle of Lewis. His work has been exhibited throughout the UK and has been awarded the British Journal of Photography Portrait of Britain Award for 2023 and 2024. He was a finalist in the Scottish Portrait Awards in 2023 and his selected work was exhibited throughout Scotland in prestigious galleries such as the Scottish Art Club Edinburgh, Kirkcudbright Gallery in Dumfries and Galloway and The Glasgow Art Club.

Island Darkroom is proud to host Deljeem’s first exhibition on his home island, and his first solo show.

Through sensitive portraiture and environmental photography he explores themes of identity, belonging and community. Deljeem uses the medium of photography to delve deeper into his experience of living with a dual-identity of Nepali and Scottish and reconnecting with his childhood in Nepal, a part of his identity he became disconnected from after arriving in the UK as a teenager. His experience of cross-cultural migration is evidenced in his work which unpacks what it means to belong.

This project grew from a desire to explore Deljeem’s connection to and identity within the Cearns, a small housing estate in Stornoway. Growing up in Nepal gave him a strong national identity and sense of self, a sense that suffered after migrating to Scotland where a desire to fit into his adopted nation necessitated he disconnect from that identity. However, while living in the Cearns, Deljeem found a new sense of belonging within a community. There, himself and his family became part of a community that had a strong sense of connection with each other and who supported and welcomed them. Portraying the Cearns through portraits of the people who live there and environmental photography he hopes to create pride for those who live there, seeing themselves and their homes represented in a way that reflects their strong community values.

Image Caption

Deljeem Rai, CEARNS

Opening Event

Friday 14th June 2024

  • Venue

    Island Darkroom

  • Address

    Island Darkroom, 5c Achmore, Isle of Lewis HS2 9DU, UK

  • Website