EU Nationals in Scotland

A series of portraits of EU nationals living in Scotland. This series started of as an entry for the Portrait of Britain public art competition 2017. 

You can read more about the background of this series here: Portrait of Britain.


Ian is an Irish farmer living in Bridge of Allan and running his farm south of Falkirk. A couple of years ago he sold most of his cattle to branch out into the tourist industry as his farm is located near the Falkirk Wheel. The Wheel Caravan Park opened to the public in the summer of 2015 and is establishing itself as a meeting place for tourists from all over the country and the continent. Ian is an enthusiastic communicator and enjoys meeting a diverse variety of people and making them connect. The Ceilidh house is a small building where he holds gatherings where people can come and play or listen to Scottish and Irish folk music or share stories. Ian himself plays the Irish bagpipes. In addition to this he has taken on the art of painting.


Aileen is a Dutch primary school teacher in Doune, Perthshire. She moved with her parents to Callander at the age of 16 and that is where she met her architect husband. It was a joy to hear the story of how their eyes crossed in the local pub and how they have been together ever since. She talks about it with a twinkle in her eyes. I came into contact with Aileen through her husband Andrew who is thinking about designing his own home and he was introduced to me by my colleagues at Incognito Underfloor Heating as he was interested in ergonomics in the workplace as well. It was a nice experience talking to a fellow Dutch national, talking English with each our own specific accent. We will certainly meet again when my wife Dorien is over, as she is from 't Gooi' as well!


Uli is a German business administrator who recently moved from Stirling to Falkirk. I have met Uli last summer at one of those inspiring evenings at the The Ceilidh house on the Wheel Caravan Park, where she was staying for a while when she was moving house. Uli is a true global citizen as she has lived in many countries due to the work of her Swiss husband, a diplomat. From Switzerland to South Africa and Canada. She talks highly of the quality of family live and culture that she experienced when the family was living in Manchester. But Scotland has apparently stolen her heart as she has been here for over 12 years now.


I will never forget the great entrance the Dutch Marjan made when she got onto the Easyjet flight from Edinburgh to Amsterdam. I was sitting on the isle seat on the 2nd row when she rushed into the plane, hit her knee badly against the chair in front of me and let the world know in unmistakingly Dutch swearwords that she didn't like it! I obviously laughed my head of! It happened to be that her seat was next to mine and the hour and twenty minutes flight-time were gone in no time. Marjan studied plant physiology at the University of Edinburgh and never left. She currently works as a data consultant for energy and environment. The portrait was taken at the pier in Leith where she recently has cleaned the beach with a group of volunteers.


For more than 5 Months I have been visiting a site in Edinburgh where Amos Beech has been working on an office interior design and fit out project. I installed a timelapse camera there in December 2016 to cover the whole project and it needed regular TLC. Most of the time I visited the site in the weekend, but when I was there during the week, I was welcomed by the warm and friendly Spanish Ana Maria. Ana Maria came to Scotland 8 years ago, just to stay for a few Months and to learn the language. She never left. 


Dariusz is the archetypical bloke who is full of positive energy and has the ability to learn from experiences. After staying in Belfast for 2,5 years, the Polish Dariusz moved to Edinburgh 10 years ago. Currently living in Bo'ness where he moved to be closer to the job he had there at the timek. He started his own business 3 years ago in quality designer lighting called Modelight. I have met him a couple of times on a local networking event where he presented himself and his company. We met for the portrait in a pub in Edinburgh where he spent quite a few hours when he lived there.