Photographer Christian Mcleod and big wave surfer Barry Mottershead accompany Passenger owner Richard Sutcliffe on a tour north of the border.
“The fun side of it was that we got to show how we actually live. How we go out, fly to different countries, or even just drive to a different area and explore. Doing that, it’s a little tough to sort of put an objective on it, because I suppose, lets say a company calls and says hey, we want to do this guy he drives from here to here, he gets half way along and he bursts his tyre. That’s not how it works, you can do that for feature films and whatever, but when you’re kind of documenting the reality of things, it’s hard to fake it.”
Christian Mcleod, surf photographer extraordinaire, spent a week north of the border on a mission to find waves, and explore the Scottish wilderness.
Accompanying him on this expedition were Richard Sutcliffe, owner of Passenger, big wave surfer Barry Mottershead, and Christian’s intern Tony Butler.
He moved from South Africa when he was like a teenager, had a look at Ireland, had a few surfs, went back home, and he moved straight back to Ireland
“Barry is the main protagonist I suppose, he’s just always kayaking, always surfing. He moved from South Africa when he was like a teenager, had a look at Ireland, had a few surfs, went back home, and he moved straight back to Ireland – and he’s been here since. He’s pretty much been here as long as I’ve been here, and yeah, he’s the exact same,” Christian explains.
“I suppose we were picked for our easy going nature, I suppose we kinda didn’t really have a plan, at all. Other than just jumping in Richards van and burning around Scotland looking for mountains to walk up, forests to camp in, and waves to surf. It was pretty loose but really really fun, I think it was five days all in all and we had such a good time. It was a great crew actually,” said Barry.
Barry, originally from Cape Town moved to Ireland around 12 years ago, and has been residing in the town of Sligo ever since. Defined as a big wave surfer, he loves exploration and anything that generally gets the heart pumping, which is probably why he doesn’t see himself under this label: “I’m kind of pigeonholed as a big wave surfer, over here. But I feel like I’m more just into doing whatever comes along. Whether it’s hiking or sailing, or riding big waves, or riding small waves, I’m just happy to do whatever as long as I’m out having a good time.”
Christian, in many ways cut from the same cloth as Barry – with a similar outlook towards the world, also ended up in Ireland, where he currently resides. That is when he’s at home.
Originally from Montana, USA, Christian moved to Ireland with his mum when he was eight, and never left: “I didn’t really get to come here by choice, but yeah, I have my choice now and I’m still here so it’s pretty cool.”
So why do this trip? “To show people that hey, as long as you leave your front door, you’re having an adventure. And you just gotta be aware of that. And that was the whole point, because I try to show that through my work.”