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Gus Wylie

Gus Wylie

Born: 1935 in Lowestoft
First Book: The Hebrides (Collins, 1979)
Awards: Won Book of the Year for Gaelic Books 1983 for Cur Is Dluth (Mobil North Sea, 1982), the Gaelic version of his book Patterns of the Hebrides (Louisiana State University Press, 1982); awarded the Observer Award for Documentary Photography in 1981; won the Royal College Travelling Award for series of photographs entitled The Rockers in 1981; made an honorary fellow by the Royal Photographic Society in 2006.

Gus Wylie was born in Lowestoft in 1935, but he spent a considerable part of his childhood in rural Scotland after being evacuated there during the Second World War. He believes his experiences of this time have fed into his work and he is now planning a small watercolour picture-book of his childhood wartime stories from this period.

He studied fine art at the painting school of the Royal College of Art, but has also taken numerous film and photography courses. During his masters in photography, he travelled across the United States on a Greyhound bus, taking a series of colour photographs of rockers and bikers. A London exhibition of this work is scheduled for 2007.

Wylie was a professor of photography at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York where the Eastman Kodak was formed, and has also taught in Florence and at the Royal College of Art. Acclaimed as a leading exponent of monochrome photography, Gus Wylie’s photography books on the Hebrides have earned him the accolade of ???best modern photographer of the Western Isles’. He recently exhibited his Hebridean photographs in Stornoway and was deeply moved by the warmth of the reception there. ???Somehow,’ he said, ???it was like coming home.’

In 2006 Gus was made an Honorary fellow by the Royal Photographic Society. He is currently the course director of the postgraduate Masters course in fashion and photography at the University of Arts in London.

Gus Wylie’s spectacular collections of photographs, such as Hebridean Light (Birlinn, 2003) and The Hebrideans (Birlinn, 2005) demonstrate not only his talent as a photographer, but also his love of and affinity for the landscapes and people of the Hebrides.