Projects 20 | Alex Boyd

30 September - 18 November 2021

A presentation of work from the series Dead Island (2020), made on the Ardeer peninsular on the west coast of Scotland.

Ardeer Island on the West Coast of Scotland is one of many lost over the centuries to the endlessly shifting and changing course of rivers and sand.

The River Garnock, which once separated the island from the mainland, has changed its path to the sea many times. Local folklore tells of a curse placed on the river by the 7th century St Winning, whose monks could not take fish from the river. The river avoided the curse by turning inland, and by the 19th century, Ardeer Island had become a peninsula.

Remote, but with direct access to the sea, the site was the perfect location for what would become the largest explosives factory in the world, the British Dynamite Factory. Opened in 1871 by Alfred Nobel, the site occupied 100 acres of land, producing dynamite as well as blasting explosives for the mining industry.


This project is an attempt made over a decade to document the site, a place I explored as a teenager, and subsequently got to know well as an adult. It once employed my grandfather as a joiner, and generations of friends families spent their working lives within ‘The Factory’ or ‘The Dynamite’ as it was known by locals. – Alex Boyd, June 2020

Image Caption

Image ©️ Alex Boyd

  • Venue

    Stills Centre for Photography

  • Address

    23 Cockburn Street, Edinburgh, UK

  • Phone Number


  • Website