Week 1 – Looking Back

For this week’s forum activity we were asked to discuss project work produced during the break by:

  •       Introducing the topic of your project
  •       Introducing the area of concern or your angle
  •       Summarising work made in previous modules
  •       Describing the intentions you had for the break
  •       Sharing work produced during the break: three – five images is enough

The topic of my project is a unique piece of land in northeast Scotland; how it changes over time in response to both natural and human influences, and how that land is used by humans and other species.  Coul Links has served many purposes over the centuries and it borders one of the most important wintering sites for a number of species of birds. It is a designated site under Scottish, UK and International law and there is a pending proposal to use relatively small portions of the land to build a golf course.

In the prior modules I began the repeat photography survey work to establish baselines and watch how the land changed through the seasons using both a drone and terrestrial methods.  I have also been observing and photographing flora and fauna to get a sense what is there and how it changes through the year.  Most recently I have also begun to pay more attention to the current limited human use of the land and traces of past human use.

There has been some controversy about the use of a designated site for a golf course and environmentalists have mounted campaigns (mostly based on out of area support), but the golf course project has strong local support and was approved by the Highland Council over the objections of the Planning Department.  At the beginning of August just before the final approval would have been granted the project was “called in” by the Scottish Government for additional review delaying the project decision by anywhere from 6 to 18 months.  As a consequence, I scaled back my direct project work during the break and used the time to work on some commissioned work some of which has direct relevance to the Coul Links project.  Royal Dornoch Golf Club (full disclosure – of which I am a member) and the burgh of Dornoch lie 3 miles to the south of Coul Links.  RDGC is ranked as the 4th best golf course in the entire world and number 1 in Scotland and serves as part of the reason the developers wish to build the course at Coul Links. I was asked to create a limited edition book in support of a charity event hosted by the Moderator of the Church of Scotland at RDGC in support of the Dornoch Cathedral building fund.  So much of the break time involved getting the final images needed for the book and completing the design, layouts, text and publication of the book.

Below are examples of the images I made during the break.

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