Ravelston Garden is a collection of three, four storey, Art Deco style apartment blocks, built in Edinburgh in the mid-1930s. Designed by Andrew Neil and Robert Hurd, they are Grade-A listed, modelled after a cruise ship, painted gleaming white, and quite lovely. For over a decade, Granny, my father’s mother, Rosamond Gruer (née Rennie), lived there. In 2021, aged 94, she moved into a nursing home. At the time of writing, she is 95.
Certain people, places, objects, and situations have such emotional, historical, or aesthetical imperative, they demand to be photographed. For a photographer to identify something as such and not photograph it causes a small but palpable rupture to the soul. To keep my soul intact, before her things were moved, or the place was sold - before it lost the sense of her - I urgently needed to capture Granny’s place. In August 2021, I took my chance.
A monument to a remarkable woman, all it lacked was a heritage plaque outside the mint green front door. For her, of course, the plaque would be lavender rather than blue, with the doorbell converted to emit her voluminous laugh whenever pressed.
In lieu of such an accolade, I made a set of photographs.