Well, not quite, but it is an honour not many people get – to say that their work will be featured on literally millions of pounds – and I’m delighted that I will be able to claim that honour.
At the start of 2016, Royal Bank of Scotland were commissioning new banknotes. After asking the public to help choose who should feature, Mary Somerville was selected for the ten pound note. She and Nan Shepherd (who will feature on the new five pound note) will be the first women to have their portraits on Scottish banknotes.
Mary Somerville was a Scottish mathematician and astronomer, who grew up in Burntisland. She is considered one of the great scientific writers of the nineteenth century – an amazing acheivement, considering she was mostly self-taught, and lived in a time when women were very often overlooked in academia. Mary would often walk along the shoreline of Burntisland and the area held a special place in her heart. So, on a cold and blustery February day, Jack (my loyal dog), and I headed to Burntisland to get some photos of the landscape, which would provide the backgound to Mary’s portrait.
The creative process was fascinating. It was huge collaboration between designers, illustrators, calligraphers, typographers, musicians, engravers, scientists, poets and photographers under the firm lead from Ostreet and Nile. Fast forward six months and last Thursday we had a banknote wrap party where we could actually see the new notes at the beautiful house of the Nile creative initiators. For security reasons, I am not allowed to share the full note with you on this blog, but here are a couple of shots from the wrap party and a glimpse of the final note. It’s amazing to think that every time I see an RBS ten pound note, I will be looking at one of my images.