Eliza Coulson (She/her)
With a passion for documenting places of cultural importance and building an archive for future generations to enjoy Eliza immerses herself in special places where people feel at home in their surroundings. Something Eliza often thinks about is how some of these communities may no longer be there in the future and how important it is to persevere their space and history through this archive, especially now, as we see the struggles from the pandemic and Brexit. To create a physical body of work using analog technology is reminiscent of pictures from her childhood stored in cardboard boxes which are, on occasion, flicked through reigniting fabulous stories and memories.
Eliza has previously gone onto win Young Photography of the Year by the Scottish Portrait Award and more recently has an article in the 2020 edition of Art North Magazine, a Highland based creative magazine.
Connection with Land
After spending considerable amounts of time back home in Nairn through the lockdown of 2020, I became curious of the mythical connection to the environment especially in the Highlands where historically there would have been a lot of mythical beliefs about the land and mother nature. My interest was to research and explore these ancestral beliefs to see how we can, today, become closer to ‘Mother Nature’ and the land we live on.
Through various explorations in the project from cairns to libations, and photographic technique ‘phytography’ I began creating this experimental body of work, not yet resolved, I hope to carry this project forward in discovering more about the area I am from.
“It’s very much about the contact between the plant and the film strip. [It’s not unlike] what we are going through now, this idea of contact between two things, [I]t’s very much about you as an artist going out there, touching the plants, selecting the kinds of pieces that you want to use [It’s] sort of a conversation. [I]n a way, it’s all about touch.”
In-between lockdowns I had the opportunity to document this emporium of historical railway wonders hidden in the Highlands of Scotland, Aviemore. I was incredibly keen to observe the environment and the interesting objects, tools and compositions that naturally occur in the ‘Shed’, and the people behind the skills and knowledge in maintaining these 100-year-old steam engines. Everyone knows about the impressive steam engines but there is a real sense of anonymity of who it is that is responsible for keeping this industry and these pieces of engineering alive for further generations to enjoy. I felt a sense of concern of who will be there to pass on this knowledge in order to keep the railway running, never-the-less, ‘The Shed’ is a bustling space that is not often seen by the public, and I hope to have shown a more candid side to the railway.
Some examples of decision making, in the layout of the publication on Indesign and note taking for ideas and interviews.
In the last couple of images there were some photographs that did not make the cut but still valued in the way they still worked together as pairs, perhaps if I curated the project together I would hang them together as compositions.