My Class @ 50

An exhibition of portraits by Donald Maclellan

Robert Summers, fisherman

Fiona Bark, shepherdes

While visiting family in Mallaig in the summer of 2016, Donald Maclellan came across a photograph in Mallaig Heritage Centre, showing his second year class at Mallaig Secondary school in 1980. Looking at the faces of his 26 classmates he wondered where they all were and how they felt life had treated them, as they approached the year in which they would celebrate their fiftieth birthdays.

Seeing the photograph encouraged Donald to set out on a personal mission to track down his former classmates and photograph them at their places of work. Although some had remained in the Mallaig area, most had moved away and the following 18 months saw him travel over 3000 miles, to destinations as diverse as Dublin, Aberdeen and Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

The result is an engaging and thought-provoking exhibition, providing a snapshot of the lives of one group of children from a Highland community.

Born in 1967 and brought up in Morar near Mallaig, Donald Maclellan studied photography at Salisbury College of Art and, after working as an assistant, set up as a freelance photographer for UK and international newspapers and magazines. Over the last 25 years, he has built a reputation as a portrait photographer, focusing on actors, writers, artists and celebrities.

Of his four major exhibitions, three have been solo shows at the National Portrait Gallery in London, the only photographer to achieve this distinction. His work is also in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

To see more of Donald's work, visit his website.

My Class @ 50 is on display at Mallaig Heritage Centre until 31 October 2018.