Jaime Molina

Jaime Molina (1993, Colombia) is a photographer and bookbinder based in Edinburgh, who is always trying to find ways to explore and communicate the spellbinding stories found within the natural world. Raised on naturalist family values in Colombia, the love for nature and wilderness fuels his drive to invest everything in their expression.

After moving to England and graduating from Falmouth University in 2018, Jaime found love not only for portraiture photography, but for creating a piece which would embody a concept in the shape of a book. This led him to crowdfund and produce 100 copies of his latest project, which in consequence gave him the tools to create his own vision, bringing different elements into a book to create a piece which was the perfect representation of the narrative within ‘Gatherers’. Since then ‘Gatherers’ has been shortlisted for the South West Photography Price in 2018, the Jhon Byrne Award in 2020, and has now been published by multiple outlets such as Rakeprogress Magazine and Of the Land & Us.

Jaime is currently focusing on his photographic and artistic practice through projects with his local Extinction Rebellion group, as well as up-cycling vintage books into hand-made notebooks.

Ben Porter, Student:

In a culture becoming ever detached from the natural world, retaining a connection to our landscape is vitally essential for the human soul and environment. Foraging brings me this deep connection, evolving a rhythm of life aligned to the seasons and the weather; to the growth and decay of its plants and animals. I tread the wilds along badger trails. Not conforming to the linear roads and paths created by humans; my senses become enlivened: hearing; touch; taste and smell. Being taken back to this primitive state of bringing never-ending enjoyment and satisfaction.

Gatherers

Some of us still have memories from our childhood of walking through tall grass in the countryside or skimming rocks by the seaside, some have picked up berries with our loved ones and observed the birds flying up high, others have learned to build fires and treehouses. We all used to let nature be the main protagonist in our adventures, as nature is, as always our greatest gift. But where has that taste for nature gone?

‘Gatherers’ is a collection of stories told by the people who have decided to become attuned to the rhythms of nature, in which gathering natural resources is not the endpoint, but a process. It requires curiosity and a child-like heart to explore new flavours, places and techniques. But in the end, these experiences have amplified their knowledge and heightened their senses, teaching them to genuinely observe nature and to adapt to the ever-changing landscape.

Stuart Woodman, Brewmaster:

For me, foraging brings a deeper connection to the landscape and the change of seasons. It also provides access to an ever-changing array of forgotten flavours. Late autumn is the time to harvest sloes and rosehips, both traditional ingredients for preserving – in this country mostly for sloe gin and rosehip syrup. I am using the sloes, along with native juniper berries to make a sloe gin stout as one of the seasonal beers I make at my microbrewery. The dry, sharp taste of the sloe is transformed into a rich, fruity flavour with hints of cherry and almond and pairs perfectly with the aromatic bitterness of juniper and the dark chocolate and coffee notes of the stout. The rosehips are the key ingredient in a Saison, with the tangy, tropical fruit flavours of the hips pairing wonderfully with the tart, spicy qualities of a Saison.
Tim Van Berkel, Seaweed Forager:

A passion for nature, wild places and different cultures have made me emerge from my birthplace in below-sea-level holland to explore some of the more remote areas and people on the planet. The pull of the ocean never faded; however, Cornwall’s clear oceans, surf lined beaches and agreeable climate meant that base is here. If that can be combined with days of snorkelling and foraging for seaweed, wee, let it be. In Ireland, dulse is traditionally used as a cure against hangovers, but it is also a healthy and tasty ingredient in fish dishes, soups, desserts, bread, chowders and salads. It can be eaten straight from the oceans! And when dried, it makes an excellent on-the-move snack.
Daniel Osmond, Student:

I’m a keen believer that we rely upon the natural environment around us for sustenance. For me, foraging, catching and growing your food and then preparing it for consumption gives a clear understanding of this connection, and helps me to understand the impact that I have. With sine damaging effects of mass-scale food production, this gives me peace of mind, knowing exactly where this has come from and how I have collected this. It also tastes good too!
Gina Goodman, Spearfisher:

There is usually a mixed reaction when people find out I’m a spearfisher. Some people understand some find it difficult to see how I can advocate conservation as a ‘hunter’: I have grown up with the ocean, I learnt to free- dive at eight years old and began diving at about sixteen. I have worked in the marine education sector in both captive and wild roles, and I now help open this world to our next generation of marine enthusiasts. So how can I justify spearfishing? I believe in sustainability. I have the utmost respect for those who choose to base their diet on their ethics and in the last few
years, I have begun to follow suit. I don’t feel that we will ever get to a point where we all eat meat or we all choose to be vegan, so if the farming and fishing industry is going to remain. I want to see a huger Overhaulin their moral and ethical practices. There is no bycatch, no dredging and no waste, minimum catch size are monitored in sites of particular interest by the environment agency and I advise my strict ethics on the species I’m willing to land (not many).
Jeff Robinson, Chef:

From a chef’s point of view, we cannot and should not hide away from the fact that we profit from produce, be it animals, vegetables or herbs, so, therefore, I need to take responsibility from where and just as importantly when we use that produce. Using a product in the height of its season brings greater flavour, it brings greater sustainability. We make sure that we are not disconnected from the ingredients we use, going out and picking our own herbs from the estate for our menu daily, not only gets the kitchen out for an hour a day but we don’t waste anything, we respect the ingredient more, we take what we need and nothing else. You realise that this product was not grown just for you, it was wild, it will still be here long after I stop looking, in this same patch, we are only serving a bit of wild
garlic, that happened to be ready to be picked today.

To view more of Jaime’s work, please visit his website.