Catching the Tide, is an ongoing, long-term photographic documentation of the lives and work of Scotland’s last remaining salmon net fishermen. The project’s aim was to capture the essence of the men’s work, the relationship between the salmon fishermen and their social and natural environment and to build an archive which could be used by future generations as a visual memory of the past.
The photographs on display at H. Forman & Son were taken at various netting stations around Scotland’s long and varied coastline and feature a number of men who have been associated with salmon fishing for generations. At the time when Colin McPherson began his work, the salmon netting industry was already in sharp decline, due to falling fish numbers, harsh economic circumstances and an aggressive policy by angling interests to buy out the netting companies and individual fishermen.
Begun in the mid-1990s, Catching the Tide has been shown as a traveling exhibition entitled Time and Tide at several locations around Scotland since 2002. In 2005 a film of the same name was made for television which told the story of Colin McPherson’s work with the salmon netsmen of Montrose Bay. Prints have been bought by public institutions and private collectors and a set of images resides in the permanent photographic collection of the National Galleries of Scotland.
The Forman Collection, specially curated under the supervision of Lance Forman, represents the first collection of work from Catching the Tide to be on permanent display. It represents a testament to the salmon net fishermen and their work and also to the photographer and his representation of that work. The images are offered for sale, details appear elsewhere.