A new exhibition at Fife’s Scottish Fisheries Museum shows 22 portraits of local fishermen by Caroline Trotter, partnered with a book of recipes by her husband Christopher, the town’s official food ambassador.
It all began three years ago, when photographer Caroline Trotter was driving past fish sheds in St Andrews and saw local fisherman Jim Buttercase sitting amongst the nets.
“I couldn’t help myself,” she laughs, explaining how she stopped the car, jumped out and asked Jim if she could take a portrait shot. “It’s still my favourite,” she says of the photograph, pictured above, which is now part of a 22-part series of fishermen in Fife being exhibited at the Scottish Fisheries Museum from 13 February to 5 March.
Caroline embarked upon the project with her husband Christopher Trotter, Fife’s Food Ambassador. While she took the photographs, Christopher spoke to fishermen about their favourite dishes. He then developed a recipe to accompany each shot, which has been compiled in a book to accompany the exhibition: Fife Fishermen Recipe Book.
Each black-and-white photograph captures a moment. Though the scenarios are similar, each is very different. “Rab Cation [above] was totally bemused by the whole thing,” says Caroline, describing a photograph of a white-bearded fisherman brandishing a crab in each hand. “He didn’t really get what I was doing, so it was a grabbed shot.” Very different to the still and quiet moment of contemplation of Jim’s portrait.
The project meant that the Trotters met a lot of new faces in the Fife area. Caroline mentions one overall-clad fisherman, Ignacio Abecio, who recently moved with his family to St Monans after the collapse of the Spanish economy. It’s a beautiful snapshot of Scotland’s east coast fishing industry, and perfect timing as it runs over the “Year of Food and Drink Scotland 2015”.