Passing Place: Revisiting Scotland by Sandy Carson
A handy little jack-knife of a book with all sorts of gadgets and doodads tucked inside. There are old family snapshots, interior booklets, facsimile covers, lace pages, leatherette binding, gilded edges, bookmark ribbon, a cleverly annotated hand-written index, and more. The contents threaten to spin out of control, but they're ultimately held fast the central figure, Carson's late mum Mary. She would be very proud of Passing Place. - Photobookstore Magazine, Best books of 2020 Passing Place is an intimate portrait of both Sandy Carson's mother and the village he grew up in the West of Scotland after emigrating to America at a young age. This series deals with separation, space, and the invisible family bonds that exist despite physical distance incurred by geographical displacement. The name is inspired by one-lane rural roads with wide spots that are common in Scotland, allowing vehicles to pass each other and continue on their journey. These photographs and memories made on annual visits home since 2001, are a testimony to Carson's upbringing and a gentle reminder that absence creates longing and nostalgia across the miles. Carson was drawn to make a record of everyday domestic rituals and routines during the rare times he and his mother spent together, to distill time with her portending passing last year. By uniting his photographs with the ephemera and family photos left behind by his mum, Carson is striving to fill the void by retracing their lives, embracing the formative years they spent together, and absorbing the ones they lost.