Paul Glazier grew up in London and went to Goldsmiths College of London University for his degree in Fine Art, graduating in 1987. It was there that he first printed his photographs taken on Vatersay, the most southerly inhabited island of the Outer Hebrides in Scotland.
By that time he already had a strong relationship with the island since he had been going there regularly from 1978. This relationship has continued till the current day.
He was first taken up to Vatersay when he was 12, by a priest who taught at his school. For many years Father Banyard took young lads from the city to the island to bring them in contact with a different environment. As a young teenager Glazier went back as often as possible, once or twice a year, photographing all the time. Being with father Banyard was a great advantage since he would go with him on his rounds and so got to meet everyone. On leaving school he would travel up to the island on his own until he moved to Holland in 1994. After that his visits were more sporadic, but since 2010 his contact with the island and his friends there has been renewed and he has been going more regularly.
In the years between the portraits from the eighties and 2010 Glazier rarely took photographs of people except in a studio setting. In that period he was more interested in photographing the landscape. However, when he digitised his eighties portraits and put them online the enthusiastic response that he received encouraged him to re-continue his documentation of the islanders.
Back in the eighties there were not so many cameras on the island and they would only be taken out for special occasions. This means that for some people Glazier’s photographs are the only images they have of family or friends from that period. So over the years they have accrued a certain historical and, for the islanders, nostalgic value.
Glazier’s artistic practice is very diverse, ranging from photography and painting to video and music. However, photography has remained a constant thread though the years, as has been his love for the island of Vatersay. He continues to photograph the people of the island, capturing the changing faces as time leaves its mark. Some of the children in the original photographs now have their own children and even grand children, and parents have become great grandparents. Hoping to be able to chronicle the island for many years to come, Glazier is slowly building a unique document of this small community.