Mythic Reverie: Unveiling Upper Nithsdale's Identity Through Digital Collage
In the Upper Nithsdale region and the historic town of Sanquhar, Scotland, I embarked on an exploration of the local mythology and its intimate bond with the land. Through the medium of photography and digital collage, I seek to create historical pieces that illuminate the intrinsic connection between place and identity. In this piece, “Across the Moors,” I delve into the age-old tales woven into the fabric of Upper Nithsdale, where every hill, river, and valley echoes the enduring narratives of its people.
Within the heart of Upper Nithsdale resides an abundance of mesmerizing myths and legends, collected and preserved in William Wilson’s book, "Folk Lore and Genealogies of Uppermost Nithsdale." Through the lens of my camera, I seek out landmarks referenced in Wilson's book that resonate with the spirit of Sanquhar's ancient heritage. With each click, I unearth the layers of time, superimposing the echoes of Wilson’s stories onto the contemporary landscape. The historic town of Sanquhar becomes a living canvas, bearing witness to the legacy of its people and preserving memories etched into its very stones.
Digital collage becomes the transformative medium through which I weave together the threads of past and present. By meticulously blending captured images with digital software, I create an evocative tapestry that invites viewers to traverse the boundaries of time. Ancient mythological figures and symbols intertwine with the familiar contours of Sanquhar and its surrounding hillsides. The town of Sanquhar is reconstructed into a fictitious place creating a seamless narrative that weaves through many of WIlson’s stories and hints at the folklore of the region.
The stunning landscapes of Upper Nithsdale, from the rolling hills to the meandering River Nith, reflect the essence of the region's identity. Sanquhar's landmarks and natural wonders serve as silent witnesses to the trials and triumphs of its people throughout history. This land holds the key to understanding the profound bond between the community and its surroundings, shaping individual identities and forging a collective sense of place.
My art invites the Upper Nithsdale community and beyond to embark on a personal journey of rediscovery. As viewers engage with my historical pieces, they are encouraged to reconnect with their roots, introspecting on the myths that continue to shape their identity. Moreover, my work questions the historical sanctioning of violence within these myths and how it intertwines with contemporary issues of violence justification, reflecting on how these themes persist in society today.
My artistic mission is to ignite a renewed appreciation for the profound role that mythology and the land play in shaping identity, fostering a deeper understanding of the interplay between history, place, and self.