Document Scotland, Beyond the Border: New Contemporary Photography from Scotland, Impressions Gallery, Bradford

The vote to decide whether Scotland becomes an independent nation takes place on 18 September 2014. Against the backdrop of the historic referendum on Scotland’s independence, four Scottish photographers are brought together to present their distinctive perspectives on a nation in the midst of intense debate about its future.

Beyond the Border showcases the work of Document Scotland, an arts collective comprising Sophie Gerrard, Colin McPherson, Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert and Stephen McLaren. This is an international premiere and one of the most significant presentations of new Scottish photography in a generation. The show aims to challenge clichés and explore the country, its people and its identity.

Each photographer displays a unique viewpoint and understanding of the nation, looking at various aspects of Scottish culture. Sophie Gerrard focuses on the role that women have played in shaping the rural Scottish landscape, looking at how their lives interrelate with the land around them.

Drawn to the Land explores the place of women within their landscape from Highland crofters to Lowland farmers. The imposing landscape is inevitably a common feature between the artists and Colin McPherson presents A Fine Line, an examination and exploration of the physical border between Scotland and England that studies the nature of that frontier.

Borders are also a topic in Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert’s work. Edge of an Empire brings history to life as he explores the Antonine Wall, the northernmost frontier of the Roman Empire, which crosses through central Scotland. In contrast, Stephen McLaren looks back at Scotland from America, revealing the world of Americans with Scottish ancestry who retain an affinity with the “Old Country” despite never setting foot there. American Always, Scottish Forever showcases the athletes, musicians, artists and visitors that attend California’s Highland Games season.

Document Scotland, Beyond the Border: New Contemporary Photography from Scotland, 1 July to 27 September, Impressions Gallery, Centenary Square, Bradford, BD1 1SD. For more information visit

1. Lauder, Scottish borders © Sophie Gerrard. Courtesy of the artist and Impressions Gallery.

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