tara drummie


In early 2020, I relocated to my partner’s native soil, the Isle of North Uist. On previous visits, I had developed an appreciation of the rare machair land prevalent on the north and west coast of the island. Derived from the Gaelic mach, meaning ‘plain’, machair is a fertile, bio-diverse, low-lying coastal grassland, formed over thousands of years by calcareous sand carried by the sea, eroded from dunes and blown inland by powerful winds. The people of North Uist have sustainably worked the machair land over millennia, in the last few centuries through the low intensity grazing/arable system - crofting.  Harvesting Light is an ongoing body of work motivated by a healthy relationship between humans and the land.
Images 1-6 are the documentation of a time-based and site-specific work from an ongoing series, where I make camera obscuras, each one in the space of a day. I assemble found matter within a chosen environment, uniting a naturally occurring aperture found on site, with materials nearby. I enjoy using my hands to plaster the final light leaks up, with mud, sand, or whatever will cling, then pausing as my eyes slowly adjust to the freshly projected landscape.

Images 7-8 are photograms produced on the machair, collaborating with the extraordinary combination of matter fundamental to its existence, Lewisian Gneiss, Calcareous Sand, Kelp, Marsh and Vegetation. The photograms are exposed with sun-light and printed using sustainable processes.