Fine Art Photography School of Fine Art

Freya Cookson


My work is heavily concerned with Scotland, in particular its landscapes and anthropological history. I am very interested in place within the Scottish landscape, and its people. I grew up in rural Aberdeenshire, and it is natural settings where I find most of my inspiration, I am very influenced by Scottish history and allow my setting to guide my projects. I work very intuitively with my camera and make work primarily through my senses and feelings. I feel myself drawn to particular places which always shape the kind of photographs I end up making. The black and white analogue process is very important to my work, and I like to keep elements of the darkroom and the negative in my final pieces, and in this respect, I like to keep a connection to time and slow processes. I am especially interested in deep history and the ancient makeup of the earth. I don’t like to associate myself with the traditional ideas of landscape photography, rather I am interested in the idea of place and the meanings of places, rather than the aesthetics of a landscape.



My degree show work, Mother, started with a visit to the Sculptor’s Cave on the Moray coast, close to where I grew up in the North-East of Scotland. My experience of the cave, and its significance to the people of the bronze age that visited it before me, inspired me to explore what the form of the cave means to us and how it is formed. I thought of the parallels between the cave I felt inside myself, the cave within my camera, and the cave I found myself standing in. What came next was an exploration of the stone of my past and the stone of my present. And how, through a deep history of the women that precede me, represented in this ancient material, I came to understand where I was meant to be.