From the series 'Life in Shetland' first printed as part of the exhibition 'Scotland's Far North' (2017).
The series ʻLife in Shetlandʼ presents a fascinating photographic insights of these island archipelagos at a time of change with the effects of the oil industry on the traditional life of these cultures. Tom Kidd was born in Edinburgh in1953 and studied photography at Polytechnic Central London and Napier (College) Edinburgh. He was awarded a Kodak Bursary to take photos in Shetland and worked as a labourer on building sites and as a removal van driver in Shetland to keep making the work at the time. He was encouraged, helped and inspired by Richard Hough, Mike Edwards, David Pashley of Stills Gallery and Napier, Lesley Greene and Lindsay Gordon of the Scottish Arts Council, and his close friend Chick Chalmers. This resulted in the book 'Life in Shetland' in 1980.
Since the late seventies he has variously been a community photographer in Craigmillar, a part-time lecturer at Napier, photographer in residence at Aberlour House School (circa 1978), and served on the Board at Stills in Edinburgh in the mid-80s. He has worked as a newspaper photographer for 25 years and is now a helicopter pilot living in Dunbar.
The Shetland photographs were resurrected in the late 90s by Bonhoga Gallery in the Shetlands and in the co-authored book with Tom Morton ‘Black Gold Tide – 25 Years of Oil in Shetland’ in 2004. This work was more recently featured on Document Scotland’s website and presented in one of their Salon events in 2013. Previous exhibitions at Stills have included a joint show with Karl Blossfeldt and his photographs from Aberlour House School, both in the 80s. His work was acquired for the collections of the Scottish Arts Council and the V&A.