Famous photographer visits Harris Tweed mill

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The photographer responsible for some of the most recognisable black and white images of the late 20th century has added the Harris Tweed process to his portfolio.

New York-based Elliott Erwitt - who has been attached to the famous Magnum agency for 60 years - visited Harris Tweed Hebrides at Shawbost this week to take pictures for a forthcoming book and also called in on a home weaver.

He said: “I have known Harris Tweed all my life and was very interested in seeing the process and the craftsmanship that goes into it. It was well worth the trip.

“I have a 30 year-old Harris Tweed jacket which is as good as new but plan to replace it while I am here.”

Erwitt’s most celebrated work, spread over an incredible eight decades, was done in France and the United States in the 1950s and ‘60s.

Many of his iconic images, always in black and white, have been turned into posters and postcards. He also photographed moments in history like the Nixon-Kruschev summit and the Civil Rights marches.

Harris Tweed Hebrides chairman, Brian Wilson, commented: “It was a privilege to welcome Elliott Erwitt to the Shawbost mill in the knowledge that the pictures he took of the Harris Tweed process and the people behind it will keep turning up, just like so many of the other images he has produced, for many decades to come.”

In 2011, Erwitt was honoured with a major retrospective at the Institute of Contemporary Photography in New York and received the ICP Infinity Award for Lifetime Achievement.

He defined photography as “an art of observation - it’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place. I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see but everything to do with the way you see them”.