Alastair Cook


Alastair Cook works principally as a photographer concentrating on antique technologies and as a filmmaker combining digital video and hand-developed film-stock. His award winning work is driven by his knowledge, skill and experience as a conservation architect: this mercurial work is rooted in place and the intrinsic connections between people, land and the sea. Alastair trained at the Glasgow School of Art then fled the country, returning after a dutiful spell in London and a more relaxed time in Amsterdam; he now lives and works in Edinburgh.

Alastair is the founder of 'Documenting Britain', driven by his desire to document the archipelago that is the British Isles; he is also the founding director of film and poetry project Filmpoem, now an international film festival. Alastair is currently the artist in residence for Kaunas Photography Gallery in Lithuania, representing Street Level Photoworks in Glasgow.


McArthur's Store

McArthur's Store is an exhibition of wet plate collodion portraits of the dwindling fishing community of Scotland's Eastern seaboard made by Alastair Cook during two summers as artist in residence at McArthur’s Store on the Old Harbour, Dunbar. Wet Plate Collodion is a photographic process dating from 1851. It was the primary method of capturing images from the early 1850s until the 1880s. The process must be completed within ten minutes before the plate dries; this brings an involvement, an intensity, producing mercurial and unique images.

"Arresting and nostalgic, contemplative and intriguing…Cook’s portraits create their own atmosphere and intrigue.” Giles Sutherland, The Times

"At a time when it has never been easier to capture someone's image, the portraits in this book display an older craft – each one took time and skill to realise. What sets this work apart is its sheer physicality – these are sensuous, vital, vulnerable, proud portraits. When I look at them I feel as if the image might lift off the page, or that I have gone into the image in some way." Guinevere Glasfurd, 2012


In Order To Win You Must Expect To Win

In Order To Win You Must Expect To Win is a series of documentary and portrait photography with Greenock Amateur Boxing Club, Scotland.


Everything We Have Ever Missed

Large format print photography and book with accompanying work by Scottish poet John Glenday. These are double exposure photographs made using 35mm film: there is no digital trickery, the film is sent through the camera twice, hiding the resulting images until processing.