Highlands & Islands

Buzzcocks drummer John Maher exhibits Western Isles photograph

Blue Room
Blue Room, a photograph taken on South Uist, will feature in the new exhibition

A former punk musician is to exhibit his photographs documenting abandoned Western Isles croft houses.

John Maher was the drummer in 1970s English band Buzzcocks, whose hits included Ever Fallen In Love.

Maher is now a photographer based on Harris and usually takes night-time images of the isle and also of Lewis.

The exhibition, Leaving Home, also features the photographic work of Fife-based vet Ian Paterson.

The properties in the photographs were deserted during the second half of the 20th Century.

Many of the images will be accompanied by text passages in Gaelic and English.

Buzzcocks
John Maher was the drummer in the Buzzcocks

The texts detail the memories of those who grew up in the houses, or who remember them when they were still homes.

Leaving Home will be exhibited at An Lanntair arts centre in Stornoway, on Lewis, from 9 November to 6 December.

Mr Maher and Mr Paterson hope to bring the exhibition to other parts of Scotland, including Glasgow.

They have turned to crowd funding website Kickstarter to help finance their plans to take show on tour.

In return for financial pledges of support, backers will receive signed fine art prints and the chance to spend time on location at one of the crofts with Mr Maher.

He said: "Our aim is to create an exhibition that can be easily transported and put on show again at other locations, giving people in other parts of Scotland an opportunity to observe an as yet unrecorded aspect of Scotland's social history."

Image from Leaving Home exhibition
An abandoned house on Scalpay

Manchester-born Mr Maher was recruited to the Buzzcocks when he was a teenager. Five weeks after joining, the band was supporting the Sex Pistols.

Mr Paterson, originally from Glasgow, became interested in photography while working abroad.

He is a regular visitor to the Western Isles and began documenting abandoned croft houses last year.

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