Stills, a center for photography based in the heart of Edinburgh, is pleased to announce the first solo exhibition in a UK public gallery of work by Scottish photographer Robbie Lawrence.
Northern Diary brings together a selection of work that Lawrence has produced over the past seven years, many of which have never been seen before in a gallery setting.
Subjects include landscapes, portraits, and still lives made across Scotland’s cities, rural locations, and coastal towns. Rather than a documentary assignment on post-Brexit Britain, Lawrence’s approach to producing the exhibition has been to interweave the narratives and relationships of people and places to convey a humanist affirmation of life north of the border, against the backdrop of the broader social and political climate throughout the UK.
“I have never thought of myself as a Scottish photographer. But a growing interest in my cultural heritage led me to begin documenting my trips home to see my family. The phrase “Northern Diary” appeared several times in my notebooks over the years and became a kind of totem for the work.” – Robbie Lawrence
The exhibition includes the first gallery presentation of Lawrence’s new short film, Blue Bonnets, commissioned by The New Yorker.
The book that accompanies the exhibition is published by Stanley Barker.
About the Author
Robbie Lawrence is a Scottish photographer born in Edinburgh and now based in London. After finishing school, he completed an art scholarship at Hamilton College, New York, and studied English Literature at the University of St. Andrews. Initially pursuing a career in journalism, Robbie began a Photo Editor traineeship at The New York Times in Paris, where he completed his first editorial assignments for clients including The New Yorker, Le Monde, and the Financial Times.
Working primarily in long-form documentaries, Robbie has photographed projects in the Congo, Faroe Islands, Sierra Leone, and Georgia, as well as notable projects across the UK. He has published several books including ‘Freetown’ (2019) in collaboration with the United Nations, and his first monograph ‘Blackwater River’ (Stanley Barker, 2019). In October 2020, Robbie published a second book with Stanley Barker, ‘A Voice Above The Linn’, illustrating the life and work of botanist Jim Taggart, featuring poetry from the renowned Scottish poet John Burnside.
Robbie works with a painterly softness and sensitivity to his subjects, heightening detail and nuance. From portraiture, travel, and documentary to editorial work, he places the human experience front and center to create thoughtful, abstract images, with an emphasis on narrative.
Robbie Lawrence is represented by WEBBER and Webber Gallery.
Robbie Lawrence: Northern Diary
1 April – 25 June 2022
STILLS: CENTRE FOR PHOTOGRAPHY
Edinburgh – Scotland