Catriona Fraser: Photographs of Scotland

By Terry Parmelee

KOAN Art Newsletter Art Critic

Volume V, Number 3 - November 1996

Must See!

When admiring a photo show, one doesn't know whether it's the subject that is fascinating, or the technical means of displaying it.

Catriona Fraser's unusual works have both. The 24-year-old Briton's sensitive viewing of ancient Scottish castles, including Macbeth's Glamis, of early church ruins, and of mysterious undecipherable Pictish hieroglyphs are unforgettable. The drama of the sites is enhanced by an unusual technique she learned in art school, the labor-intensive one of black and white infrared photography. In Eilean Donan Castle, warm things show up as white, while those coldest in temperature, darkest. Thus, a tree warmed by the sun will look white, or almost snow-covered, in this interesting reversal of tonality.

The Picts, original inhabitants of Scotland, eventually extinguished by the Anglo-Saxon invaders, were described by the Romans as being fierce, tattooed and matrilineal, and are known today only by the beautifully carved pieces shown in Stones Number Three and Seven, plus the more familiar circles of upright stones.

Copyright 1996 The KOAN Art Newsletter