Thursday, 5 February 2015

John Davidson stands aside Jean atop the Cumberland Stone near the site of the Battle of Culloden in 1909. (CVA) The Duke of Cumberland is said to have breakfasted on the ice age rune on the morning of the battle 16 April, 1746. He watched his troops defeat Bonnie Prince Charlie and his Jacobite army, ensuring not only the defeat of the rebellious Highlanders but the suppression of Scottish self-determination. (CVA)

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Further afield from Aberdeen, J. Davidson photographed the geological splendor of a rock formation near Buchan between 1898-1911). The lads in the foreground are nestled to give scale and a human element to the scene. There is reason to believe drams were served near the gaping maw. (CVA)

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Preparations are underway for a vertical derive in Scotland. Inspiration is gleaned from the jaunty demeanor of the tweeded companion of John Davidson who took the photograph. They are near the top of Ben Rinn (Gaelic: promontory hill), a "Corbett" with an elevation of 841m. (CVA)

An Aberdeen studio photograph shows J. Davidson in repose (1905-11). A man of the hills with an eye ever outwards. He would become a famed Canadian botanist who established the UBC Botanical Garden and explored the Vancouver region extensively. (CVA)

Monday, 2 February 2015


It should be here,
built of wood.

But there it lies.
under moss.

Beside the stream,
fungal rot.

Feathered shells, straw,
sheltered not.

The rusted mullions on the horse barns buckle and warp after decades of neglect. The masonry suffers from a stress fracture while the lack of an overhang ensures egress. Cardboard padding on the inside wall blocks out the light entirely, shutting the eye to the wind, the mind to the sun.

By the track metal drums stand on skeletal frames. The desperately lunging herd is filmed from within as eyes roll intently in their blinkered sockets, frothing and heaving. Paper slips and beer cups, painted nails and aftershave. 

A day at the races circa 1950. (CVA)