Mischa Haller: On Bute (2005)
In 2003, Mount Stuart Trust invited Mischa Haller to make new work on the Isle of Bute. During the following two years he visited the island in every season observing island life and creating a unique documentary series of photographs. 'On Bute' tells the story of the identity of a community and its daily life at the beginning of the 21st century. The project is a celebration of the island, showing the spirit of the place, people and their times. The photos explore a dynamic society, at times in transition, detached from the mainland and often displaying a strong sense of humour.
This exhibition and book continue Mischa Haller's development of portrait and reportage photography. Over the past half-decade, he has spontaneously and responsively recorded individuals and groups of people in the process of everyday living. He uses a personal, documentary style of photography and frames momentary encounters using both classical and subject-based compositions. Haller says he is interested in "Real people and real moments. Not just how things look but how it felt to be there." In this sense, many of the smaller details hint at a larger, existential truth.
Francis McKee, then director of Glasgow International and now director of the Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow and Lecturer at Glasgow School of Art, wrote this essay in 2005 exploring Mischa Haller's photographic process, read it here.