Showing in Da Gadderie, Shetland Museum and Archives, this exhibition is a collaboration between Shetland Arts and the Shetland Amenity Trust. 

Fisherwomen is a national touring show exploring the work of women along the historic route of the old herring fleet from Shetland to Great Yarmouth, by Craig Easton, a multi award-winning photographer whose work is deeply rooted in the documentary tradition.

Mary, Whalsay, Shetland (c) Craig Easton

Telling this compelling tale of a unique phenomenon in the history of British women at work, the show includes large-format photographic portraits of long retired gutters from Shetland alongside similarly large-scale portraits of women working in the fish processing industry today, many of them working in Shetland.

Fishing fleets have long depended on female workers to process their catch. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, ‘herring lassies’ would follow the boats down the east coast of Scotland to gut and salt-pickle their fish. Today’s fisherwomen are mostly to found behind closed doors, working unseen in large fish processing factories, smokehouses and small family firms all around the coast.

About the photographer:

Craig Easton is a multi-award winning photographer whose work is deeply rooted in the documentary tradition. He shoots long-term documentary projects exploring issues around social policy, identity and a sense of place. His work explores portraiture, landscape and reportage approaches to storytelling, often working collaboratively with others to incorporate words, pictures and audio in a research-based practice that weaves a narrative between contemporary experience and history. His prints are held in private and public collections worldwide and he has exhibited extensively both in the UK and internationally.

Cover image: Janet, Scalloway, Shetland (c) Craig Easton