22 Aug -  4 Oct 2009

The project started with the title – initially, I had thought of photographing  derelict churches around Scotland, but soon realised that didn’t make for a very interesting project – once you’ve seen one old, crumbling church, you’ve seen them all…

So, I then moved on to photographing church buildings that are now being used for other purposes, e.g. bars, restaurants, climbing centres, etc.

There are so many decommissioned church buildings in Scotland that my main challenge was, not to find the buildings, but to find interesting ways to photograph them – I hope that I achieved this to some degree at least.

As my portfolio grew, so did the project – Kevin MacNeil was enlisted to write some prose to accompany the photographs. I am aware that some people tend to race around galleries, and often find them to be cold, silent, and intimidating. I thought that having a soundtrack playing would alleviate this, so the final element in the project was to record some music with readings of Kevin’s text by Alyth McCormack.

The project has been ongoing for two years now – from Stornoway, it moves to Glasgow, Edinburgh, and selected photographs to London – I hope people find the exhibition to be interesting, engaging and not the worst thing they see all year….

Iain Shaw