At its core, As I Found Her: A Portrait of Eigg is a project about the Hebridean isle, its people, and their way of life. I wanted to paint a picture of Eigg’s tight-knit community and the sense of belonging that radiates from this. It’s a story told through environmental portraits shot both inside islanders’ homes and in the sweeping, expansive landscape. But there is also, in the background, a much broader narrative about what it might mean to live on an island – any island – away from the mainland, and to be at the mercy of nature and perhaps even the community itself. The project is also hugely personal in that it’s about my own desire to belong somewhere, and the joy I felt when I discovered Eigg.
As the island opened up to me, I opened up to it, and I found myself peeling back the layers of this extraordinary place. I visited Eigg 4 times from summer 2016 to finally returning in June of 2017 to exhibit the project in the village hall on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the community’s island buyout.
With the exception of the exhibition this year, the work has remained largely unseen, but it feels right to show it now. Eigg may never be somewhere I call home, but it will always be dear to me. It has left an indelible mark. Consequently, As I Found Her: A Portrait of Eigg is a celebration of what Eigg means to me, but I also hope it offers an honest, sincere, and intimate glimpse of what the island means to the people who call Eigg home.