Respect the Sabbath Day, Keep it Holy (2021)

I grew up in a strict, religious household in the Scottish Islands. Sundays were kept sacred – no games, no secularism, only rest. The islands held a high view of this tradition, with shops being closed on the Sabbath and visible chores such as hanging up the washing being frowned upon.

As I’ve grown older and I reflect on this unique upbringing, I think about how it affected me. While I practice keeping Sundays relaxed and free from work, I struggle with religious guilt. The expectation to always be good and repent when I’ve done something wrong weighs like a rough hangover.

I wanted to make work around this to understand it more. I conducted a series of interviews with folk who grew up in the area to hear their side and how it influenced their lives. I titled this project ‘Respect the Sabbath Day, Keep it Holy’, as while it began an analysis of island culture and its relationship with Sunday, I found there was so much more to uncover. Such as the idea of being told to repent, the idea of remaining celibate until marriage, trying to understand a world with a God when bad things happen everywhere.

From the group show ‘In Real Life’, photo taken by Josh Croll

From the group exhibition ‘Mìr air Mhìr’, photos taken by myself