The photographer Hamish Scott-Brown is back working in Barga. We have been following his work as he has been taking images in and around Barga for a number of years now. Hamish Scott-Brown moved from his native Scotland to Barga and has been steadily building up a large and comprehensive body of work which focuses on the city and its inhabitants.
We published some of his work back in 2008 – (article here) The images were part of a continuing project which he was calling a visual phenomenological research exploring ‘home’ and what we consider ‘homeliness’” and was for his MA in photography at the University of Cumbria in the UK.
The following year 2009, he had changed the thrust of the work and was concentrating on night images of houses and dwellings (article here)
This year the emphasis moved once again and instead he started researching and photographing abandoned mental asylums.
This week he was back in the area photographing two models using Barga Vecchia as his backdrop. We caught up with him just outside the Casa Cordati using the large pink facade of the centuries old palazzo as a perfect complimentary colour to the green dress of one of his models.
Sonia & Mariella.
No…….. the two girls spotted in Barga Veccia on Friday evening were not professional models! They were local schoolgirls Sonia Orsucci and Mariella Ciniglio! These two beautiful young ladies were kind enough to model for professional photographer Hamish Scott-Brown who is at present collating a body of work based on eco fashion and the Scottish- Italian connection. Hamish’s wife Fiona is responsible for sourcing the gowns from sustainable outlets, styling and make-up.
Hamish says that the girls are simply beautiful. Natural and poised with an elegance and sophistication rarely found in such young subjects, the girls take instruction extremely well and are responsive to the photographers direction. In addition the girls appreciate the detail involved in the shoot and work hard to help Hamish achieve results.
Fiona states that the girls have a freshness which is very becoming in contemporary fashion photography and an instinctive aptitude for modelling.
Hamish specialises in portraiture, boudoir, model folios and ‘trash the dress’ shoots.
International award winning photographer Hamish Scott -Brown is an outstanding contemporary photographer operating at the cutting edge of the industry. His inimitable approach secures his place as a leading exponent and digital artist who provides images of the highest quality and style
Hamish trained originally at the prestigious Bournemouth and Poole College of Art where he studied photography along with so many other great British talents like Turner prize winner Wolfgang Tillmans and world renowned fashion photographer Nick Knight. Recognised by his tutors as an outstanding student, he went on to work as an assistant to names like Tony McGee and John Swannell before operating as a freelance photographer, graduating as a teacher from Strathclyde University and finally securing a post as a Principal University Lecturer.
Progressing education through technology, Hamish also worked with organisations such as The BBC, Channel 4 television and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London developing learning through technology.
Hamish recently completed his Post Graduate MA studies in Photography and his subjects for study were mostly found here in Tuscany. Hamish spent many months researching and photographing abandoned mental asylums in the region here and further afield in Germany.
His studies invite the viewer to interpret traces of dwelling, being or Dasein and to speculate on the isolation, the loneliness and the incarceration. The closure of these institutions is infused into their very atmosphere. These places were home to many poor souls designated mad or simply less able.Empty emotionally charged spaces, have in some cases, been violated by other inquisitors eager to get a closer look on the remnants of previous habitation.
I want to share with the viewer an opportunity to reflect on these institutions and also, to witness those traces which evidence attempts to build a normal community.Within my images you will find not only bars on windows, heavy doors, disability and isolation, but also communal recreation areas.
The question is, as a viewer, do you look in at these images and see yourself as “The Other”? There were many who inhabited the same space, carers, doctors, visitors and patients?
As you look at the images and venture into this forgotten place, which subject do you become ? Carer or Cared For?” – Hamish Scott-Brown
Hamish’s beautiful book “Manicomio” is published here http://www.blurb.com/my/book/detail/1035531
For some, treasured possessions can be mobilised from one space to another and ‘home’ can be quickly re-established in a different time and space.
For others, material possessions have little value.
Familiar sights, sounds and memories permeate the very fabric of existence from birth to death and, confined within a discreet space, cosseted from the elements, such a space (and no other) may well become “Home”.
As I realised how fortunate in life I have been with all the comforts of a secure loving home, I began to think about those souls who were often institutionalised for no greater sin than being less able or perhaps plagued by mental illness. I searched out a number of locations within travelling distance of my home and beyond.
Manicomio is a series of images taken inside a number of abandoned mental asylums. These eerie desolate and derelict buildings are most often spread across a fair acreage of quiet rural countryside. Built sufficiently out of the way to ease the social conscience, traces of former inhabitants remain both inside and externally in the grounds. Some poor souls remained in locked rooms or wards –‘for their own safety’ while others may have been afforded the luxury of walking out of doors in a secure, permitted area. Many of these people were abandoned and forgotten. These ‘skeletons in the cupboard’ often lived a whole lifetime and died in an asylum which was the only home they had ever really known.
The book is dedicated to those forgotten residents of such institutions and also to those ghosts who remain visible and invisible in the cold interiors and shifting gauzy light. – – Hamish Scott-Brown
………. along with his first publication “The Natural Harmonics of Home & Space” also available to view here