Gruinard Island-2015

Located in Gruinard Bay, between Gairloch and Ullapool on northwestern coast of Scotland
Gruinard Island or sometimes known as Anthrax Island was the site of a biological warfare testing by British military scientists from Porton Down in 1942.
Eighty sheep were taken to the island and bombs filled with anthrax spores were exploded close to where selected groups were tethered. All were killed during the testing.
For many years it was judged too hazardous for the public to access to the island as Anthrax can remain dormant for over 100 years.

In 1981 a group of activists called Operation Dark Harvest an affiliate of the Scottish National Liberation Army left a sealed package of a soil sample from the island outside the military research facility at Porton Down; tests revealed that it contained anthrax bacilli. Dark Harvest wanted to draw attention to the contamination of the island and the inaction of the authorities to deal with the situation. A few days later another sealed package of the soil was left in Blackpool, where the ruling Conservative Party was holding its annual conference.
Starting in 1986 a determined effort was made to decontaminate the island, with 280 tonnes of formaldehyde solution diluted in seawater being sprayed over all 196 hectares of the island and the worst-contaminated topsoil around the dispersal site being removed. On 24 April 1990, after 48 years of quarantine and 4 years after the solution being applied it was declared safe for the public. Today the island remains uninhabited with locals still reluctant to travel there.

01-Gruinard Island


A Room Without A View

On my travels as a photographer, the process of photographing the view from my hotel bedroom window gives me a momentary pause to gather my thoughts, the gesture, a record of the banal. It also connects me to my temporary home or shelter, documenting my engagement with an otherwise transitional, neutral space.

The hotel room usually located at a height over the surrounding landscape connects the viewer to the world beyond the safe cocoon of the room. The landscape that greets you in the morning to the one you last see at night.