Artist in Residence: Alastair Cook

Artist in Residence: Alastair Cook

Alastair Cook, 22 June – 25 August

Alastair Cook was artist in residence at McArthur’s Store, the fisherman’s store on the old harbour for three months over the summer period for ‘Walking a Line our project for the Year of Natural Scotland. Alastair who was also artist in residence in 2012 was once again invited to be artist in residence to enable the continuation of his investigation and documentation of the fishing community of Dunbar, a reticent and tight knit community. He started working in the in summer of 2012, slowly gaining their trust as he worked along side the fishermen in and around the harbour where he became a well known figure. As a result of two years as artist in residence with North Light Arts he has developed a unique archive of beautifully sensitive black and white portraits using the technique of wet plate collodion which responds to the abundant ultra violet light found in Dunbar.

‘The collodion process is capable of the production of negative and positive prints. The contemporary artist and photographer Alastair Cook has chosen to work with the latter, creating one-off positive prints on metal known as “ambrotypes” and “tintypes”……The results are arresting and nostalgic, contemplative and intriguing. Cook, who completed a residency during the summer of 2012 in Dunbar, was based in McArthur’s store; a painstakingly renovated building, dating from 1658, situated in the oldest part of Dunbar harbour.’

Giles Sutherland, The Times, 2013.


The results of Alastair Cook’s artist residency were shown in an exhibition titled “McArthur’s Boys” at Dunbar Town House Gallery from 11 October – 20 December 2013.

Download the Exhibition PDF here.

Find out more about this artist on our website here.

Top image: ‘Rowan Davies’ (detail) © Alastair Cook, 2013