Power in Place. What do Paintings of Scotland’s Seas and Coasts, from Victorian to Modern Times, Reveal About Scottishness?

Researcher: Joseph Boyd (PhD Student)
Supervisor: Dr Jeremy Howard

School of Art History

A person in Scotland is never more than 45 miles from the sea. Whilst seldom dipping their bodies in the waters, people who live and work in this Northern country often have water on their minds. Their literature, music and theatre echo it, ‘so potent a source of inspiration and imagination through the centuries’. Their images depict it. To investigate a potential distinctiveness of Scottish paintings, this research project is examining the fundamentals of their geography – the space, place and location of what the artist was responding to.

The photograph was composed to echo the drama and motion of the skies and sea that energise the paintings of American, Jon Schueler. It was taken on the shore near Mallaig, the place in Scotland where Schueler created his most intense and evocative works of art.

Photography: Joseph Boyd