Rob Fairley was born in 1953 and educated at Edinburgh College of Art. He moved to live in the Scottish west coast port of Mallaig then moved again to the island of Shona Beag in 1975, where he lived what has been described an ‘hermetic’ existence, living as much as possible off the land and from the sea and making ephemeral land based work. This work recorded, for the most part, in pinhole camera images (the camera often being made from animal carcases) was not exhibited until 2011 when the Resipole Gallery mounted a retrospective of his ‘early work.’
All Rob’s work is based on the land and although very often not topographical it always relates in some way to the landscape and the weather or to the geology, stories, songs and myths that this encompasses and what has been called the ‘terra incognito of the human mind’ that is influenced by it. Since 1994 Rob has been very involved with ‘Room 13’ which facilitates the work of young artists alongside ‘artists in residence’, providing a studio based forum where adults of all ages can exchange ideas, skills and experience.