WORK

scotland in books

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Taking photos at Innerpeffray Library, Scotland's oldest free public library.
 

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Peggy Ferguson reads from a Gaelic children's book on the steps of her father's secondhand antiquarian bookshop bothy adjacent to their home on the Isle of Skye.
 

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The library at Brodie Castle near Forres in Moray, courtesy of The National Trust for Scotland.
 

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Volunteers Julie Lee (left) and Houida (right) with volunteer coordinator, Gabrielle Macbeth (center), at the Glasgow Women's Library.
 

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The home library of Hollie Reid, owner of Lovecrumbs in Edinburgh.

 

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A charity shop in Leith.

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Left: the home staircase of the owners, Joyce and Ian Cochrane, at Old Bank Bookshop in Wigtown. Right: from a home library on the Isle of Arran, the inscription of the first gift Stuart Gough ever gave to his now-wife, Heather Gough, to celebrate their first year of dating in 1971, including the orchid he gave her that same day.
 

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Morag Cuomo cooks with her son, Duncan Cuomo, in their home kitchen above their restaurant, The Pheasant, in Sorbie.

 

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Left: Caledonia Books in Edinburgh. Right: Better Read Books in Ellon, Aberdeenshire.
 

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Colin Dewar looking to identify a flower in his Collins Flower Guide in Wigtown.
 

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Captain watches a window cleaner early morning in The Bookshop, Wigtown.
 

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Right: Abigail and Zoey Stewart read in their mother's art gallery, Craigard Gallery. Left: some books in the home of author John Francis Ward and his wife Pauline Ward in Perth.
 

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Isle of Arran's mobile library and librarian Susanna Talbot at their Lamlash stop, parked in front of a memorial comemorating the Highland Clearances.
 

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Left: David Buchan stands with the phone booth he turned into a free lending library upon learning the booth would be decommissioned by BT. Right: owner Charles Leakey sits in the former church turned bookshop, Leakey's Bookshop in Inverness.
 

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Helena Cochrane reads in her bedroom above her parents' bookshop, Old Bank Bookshop, in Wigtown.
 

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A 16th century book on palm reading at Innerpeffray Library.
 

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Asif Khan, director of the Scottish Poetry Library in Edinburgh.
 

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Killie Browser, a bookshop and event space at Kilmarnock Station.
 

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Geordie Coles in his family's home library in Edinburgh.
 

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Left: Innerpeffray Library Manager and Keeper of Books, Lara Haggerty, shows some of the collection's miniature books. Right: a peek into the secret liquor cabinet at Dalmeny House, home of Lord and Lady Rosebery.
 

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Gilleasbuig Ferguson, a Gaelic and secondhand antiquarian bookseller, reads in Gaelic to his youngest son, Archie, at their home on the Isle of Skye.  
 

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Haddo House library in Aberdeenshire, courtesy of The National Trust for Scotland.
 

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For the past three months, I've taken photos of bookshops, libraries, and book lovers all over Scotland. I wanted to share the stories of people and collections as I met them from Wigtown to Inverness, from bustling Edinburgh to the quiet Isles of Arran and Skye, but here I am back home in Portland, breathless and ever eager to share what I can before it slips away.

Part of my automatic response to the question, "why?" is that I was Artist in Residence for Scotland's National Book Town, but the real reason is that books are so evocative and beautiful, I wanted to find a way to travel all over the country to see them. Not just in grand estates and charming bookshops, but in corners of homes and quiet moments in public. Despite an ever-increasingly digital world, I can look around and see that there has always been a subtle but strong lifeblood to keep and preserve physical books. I see it in the way we laboriously move from house to house with heavy boxes, the way our eyes light up when we find a book we recognize and love an unfamiliar shelf, and the way we continue to allow ourselves to be captivated by something which, upon looking, may very well only be a stack of paper with ink.

When first dreaming up this series, I acknowledged the potential of the stories and life that come from reading books. What I wanted to explore with this project was how the books themselves, in simply existing and taking up space, continue to be necessary and relevant in a world that's moving faster and becoming less tactile every day. 

My final exhibition includes 124 photos of books throughout the country, but in reality I could have shared many more. It's a work in progress. I could have continued taking more photos and visiting more places and people, hearing their stories and seeing how books are still alive and important. I could have kept going. And I want to keep going, but for now, here's this. 

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Scotland in Books is currently showing through May 14th, 2017
11 North Main Street
Wigtown, DG8 9HL
Monday - Saturday, 10am-4pm & Sunday 12-4pm

Free admission

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the first month

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The last time I was in Wigtown, I'd just lost my father. It was October and the town had begun to slow and quiet post Book Festival, and my quiet days in the bookshop were exactly what I needed.

But this time, it's different. This time I'm learning more about the people that make this town, what it means to prioritize art and culture no matter where you live, and finding a place in the community even if it's just for a little bit.

In the first month since I've been back, my heart still warms every time I come downstairs and walk through the shop-- whether to work down stairs or say hello or just pass on my way out. There's such a comfort in being surrounded by books-- especially when they're basking in low winter light and Captain has just come down the stairs and rubs his side along your leg to say hello.

It's just how I remembered it but also brand new, and exactly where I want to be.

mni wiconi | water is life

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If you follow along on any social media, you'll recognize this calendar I can't stop blabbing about.

It's a postcard calendar, which means that at the end of each month you can cut along the dotted line at the back and send a note to a friend. The bottom half also includes a quote by a woman, which was half to celebrate women and half not to waste that space. This you can hang on your wall or alongside your mirror or tattoo on your heart-- the quotes mean that much to me.

The calendar features 12 photos of the California coast, my forever muse, alongside lettering by the talented Alyce at A Luxe Contraband. I've been dreaming of putting together a calendar for years, and am so excited to hold this in my hands.

All this being said, the thing I'm the most proud of is that I'm able to donate 50% of all proceeds to support the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe as they protect their land, water, and lives against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

This year has been weighing on me so much, and it felt like all I could do was slip into helplessness. When I remembered that Standing Rock's motto is "mni wiconi" and means "water is life," this felt like a natural way to support a cause that means so much, with a project that means a lot to me.

Anyway! I'm really proud. It's ocean-inspired, WOC created, and benefits people who really need us. 

get your calendar here

aude & james | married in the dordogne, france

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This time last year, Aude and James got married in the enchanting Dordogne, surrounded by friends and family.  

The whole weekend was magic, but it was sum of little moments that made it glow. Having tea and watching Aude make her mum's birthday cake in their Périgueux home, the teamwork the day before the wedding to decorate the domaine, the cat that followed Aude and James when we took their portraits, the champagne and lawn games basking in golden light, the colors the sky turned just before dinner, the most generous portions of cheese I've ever seen, the ceilidh circle of celebration surrounding the couple as the night drew to a close, and the floating lanterns, planned by Aude's sister Claire as a final wedding surprise. 

Personally, this was a difficult time for me, but being around so much love gave my heart new life in a way I couldn't have dreamed better myself. All my love and so much more to my dear friends, Aude and James. I can't wait to see you again soon.

creative women in portland for ELLE

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If you're following along on Facebook or Instagram, you'll see that my most recent hooplah has been over my spread shooting creative women in Portland for Dutch ELLE's September issue. 

I guess I'm supposed to play it cool and prefesh but I think I jumped up and down and squealed when the issues arrived in the mail. I wasn't planning to be in Portland this summer but came up to shoot all five portraits in 48 hours. 

As a woman of color in Portland, it was important to me to feature as many diverse women as possible. While I didn't have the final say in who they featured, I was happy to nominate women I knew who were doing cool things while still showing a spectrum of talent and backgrounds.

In this feature, we have:

Alice Carrier, a mother and tattoo artist
Danielle Sullivan, a dream pop singer of the local band, Wild Ones
Emilly Prado, writer
Joni Whitworth and Jennelle Barajas, partners and owners of Mint and Mirth
Margaret Jacobsen, mother, photographer, and writer

There's also a little contributor spotlight, featuring lil ol' me. And if you can read Dutch, you can read me going on and on about Korean skincare and my obsession with A Room With a View :P

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*last photo by my BFF Coley!