The grey mare and the half horseshoe

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With the Filmhouse exhibition now sadly over, it’s time to think about what’s next. One upcoming project is the epic horse ride through the Scottish highlands with John Nelson and team in May, which I will hopefully be documenting in photographs. The photo in this post was taken while out feeding the sheep on the Nelson family farm near Crossmichael, Castle Douglas on Christmas Day.

John discovered an interesting story in the family archives about a grey mare stolen from an ancestor’s farm which was then tracked through a large chunk of west coast Scotland and eventually recovered by way of a missing half horseshoe and the distinctive tracks this left. The thief in question was the last man hanged in Scotland for horse stealing and in May, John will recreate this epic ride with a team of elegant heavy horses, including a stunning Clydesdale, beginning at the foot of Loch Lomond, travelling up through Glencoe and finally ending in Inverary, and the jail in which the thief was finally imprisoned.

My inspiration for this project will be the incredible photographer, Ragnar Axelsson, who documented the dramatic relationship between man and landscape in his photos from the wilds of Iceland and Greenland. The stark black and white images are extraordinarily powerful; the landscape, hostile and awe-inspiring, the life, arduous and heroic. This will be my top tier of inspiration and aspiration for this project.

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