Murdo MacLeod

J.K. Rowling, b. 1965. Author (2000)

About this artwork

J.K. Rowling shot to fame in 1997 with the publication of the first of seven ‘Harry Potter’ books. The critically acclaimed series has since had world-wide success. Growing up in England and Wales, Rowling always had a passion for writing and her idea for Harry Potter emerged during a long train journey in 1990. After moving to Scotland in 1993, Rowling often wrote in Edinburgh cafes, and the city has remained her home ever since. This photograph of the writer is typical of MacLeod’s style in its slightly surreal atmosphere, intriguing props and theatrical lighting. The viewer is encouraged to question the gargoyle in Rowling’s arms, her hand placed deliberately on her chest in a way that echoes the gargoyle’s hand on its face.

Murdo MacLeod

Murdo MacLeod

Murdo MacLeod was raised in Siabost (Shawbost) on the Isle of Lewis. From 1980-3 he studied Photography at Napier College Edinburgh. Since 1985 he has worked as a professional newspaper and magazine photographer, for which he has won UK Press Photographer of the Year. MacLeod’s portrait photographs step into the obscure and surreal, with unusual props and fascinating poses. Yet they are always rooted in reality – never quite going beyond the believable. MacLeod also utilises light in an expert way, often dramatically lighting his subjects, which further enhances the theatrical and slightly bizarre quality of his work.