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Photo of an image projection against a rusty metal wall, taken using the Sheep Shelter Camera.

Harvesting Light

Harvesting Light is an ongoing body of work by North Uist based photographer and filmmaker Tara Drummie, motivated by a symbiotic relationship with the land.

Please join us for the opening night preview of Harvesting Light, at Taigh Chearsabhagh on Friday 11th November at 7pm. This event is free, no booking required, and all are warmly welcome.

Drummie was inspired by the rare machair prevalent on the Isle of North Uist, where geology, climate and topography combined with low-intensity human cultivation over millennia yield a fertile eco-system, attracting a wide variety of wildlife.

The works Bird Hide Camera, Horse Box Camera and Sheep Shelter Camera reflect a collaboration between the more-than-human assemblages of the machair and Drummie. Each work is time-based and site-specific, exclusively using matter found on site to create a camera obscura, disassembling the works and appropriately disposing of any harmful debris upon a work’s completion.

A camera obscura is a rudimentary optical instrument comprising a dark chamber, a small round hole known as an aperture, and reflected light, projecting an image of the external environment onto the internal wall.

We experience the ephemeral works through photographs and films made by Drummie on site. The film Horse Box Camera documents the process behind making a camera obscura on the machair, creating the dark chamber utilising a horse box, marine debris, rotten silage, cow dung and sand found on site. A hole in a calf’s feeding bottle cap, also discovered nearby, functioned as the aperture, projecting an image of the machair environment within the horse box’s interior.

I savour the experiential and intimate process of engaging with each extraordinary environment, enjoying using my hands to plaster the final light leaks up, with mud, sand, or whatever will cling, then pausing as my eyes slowly adjust to the freshly projected landscape.

Harvesting Light is free and open to all from 10 am – 4 pm, Monday to Saturday, in Gallery 2 at Taigh Chearsabhagh.

If you would like to support our continued programming and enable us to keep offering free events, please consider making a donation to Taigh Chearsabhagh.


Image copyright: Tara Drummie, 2022.