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On The Edge
The Islands of the Outer Hebrides stretch in a curved archipelago for 250Km along the outer edge of the North-Western coastline of Scotland, facing out into the Atlantic Ocean – the next landfall being Newfoundland in Canada. These are wild and remote islands; of the 119 islands only 14 are now inhabited. The Gaelic speaking inhabitants eake out a living crofting, fishing and attending to tourists. The weather is ferocious – the islands are treeless. Mountains, Lochs and Peat Bogs stretch along the Eastern side of the islands whilst endless white sand beaches and grassy Machair characterise the West. The rocks exposed here are some of the oldest on the Planet – Lewisian Gneiss is 2.8 Billion years old. With a known history of human habitation stretching more than 7,000 years there are ancient standing stones, stone circles and burial chambers. There is mystery, myth and legend everywhere. The landscape is sublime with storm clouds gathering in the West but when the winds subside there is a solitude best summarised by the Gaelic word Ciùineas – (pronounced Kyu-nyas) meaning tranquility, calm and peacefulness. In an echo of his previous photography in the Outer Hebrides from 1972 Robin choose to record his experiences and feelings about the islands in monochrome; believing that it better encapsulated the true spirit of the place. These Islands are “On the Edge” in so many ways.