Graham lives at the famous 16th century Mercat Cross in the Royal Burgh of Culross in the Kingdom of Fife, Scotland.
Educated in Glasgow with a degree in Electrical & Electronics Engineering, he started his career in a filthy steel mill near Bellshill. Dodgy working practices, misogynistic management, organised theft, bonuses paid with alcohol, Xmas fatalities; this place had everything.
Graham quickly tired of scraping chrome vanadium soot from his fingernails. His failure to culturally assimilate in South Lanarkshire was complete, so he worked across the British Isles, where his skills & experience were made more believable with his direct, Glaswegian accent. Play to your strengths, right?
Concurrently, much of his spare time was spent outdoors, shrink wrapped in ridiculous Lycra outfits, cycling country lanes to keep the legs buffed enough so he could top off his head with a boiled wool hat & pick off bleak Scottish mountains at the weekends.
To find summer sunshine however, he meandered for weeks through the juniper bushes & glaciated valleys of the Spanish Pyrenees & across the French Alps, fueled with old porridge, Mars bars & condensed milk.
In 2001, a job opportunity in Georgia forced him to move to Atlanta where he spent much of his career turning around distressed companies & corporations on behalf of private equity groups.
Luxury town house apartments, gated communities, exotic cars, unlimited Amex cards, exclusive golf club memberships, celebrity friends; Graham had none of these.
So in 2006, he took a permanent job in Houston, TX which turned out to be a lousy decision. In mid 2008, he appeared in front of an oversight committee in the US Senate in Washington DC. He presented as an expert witness to a fatal industrial disaster in Georgia which killed 14 people.
Graham hired one of Houston's top attorneys, Philip Hilder & Associates who had previously represented Sherron Watkins, former Vice President of Corporate Development & whistleblower in the Enron Corporation energy trading scandal which led to the then, largest bankruptcy in US history.
Partly due to his legal team's efforts, Graham's determination to have justice prevail & his witness testimony, Imperial Sugar received the third largest fine in US history for egregious, willful health & safety violations. The company had tried to thwart justice by spending over $2 million in an attempt to undermine his evidence.
Soon after, it was necessary to conduct daily checks under his car for explosives. And then drive through Houston's rush hour traffic with a .38 Smith & Wesson Special loaded with six dum-dum rounds, wedged under the front seat.
Movie script writers should take special note here; a few years later, the CEO of Imperial Sugar who had bizarrely attempted to blame Graham for the fatalities, suddenly died in mysterious circumstances in California.
After living the American dream that read like a draft version of a John Grisham novel, Graham decided to find something else to shoot back at; one that didn't require a firearm.
Thus, using all the air-miles he could redeem, this Hampton Inn & Suites high flier packed his hi-viz pyjamas & leatherette slippers into a shipping container & returned to Scotland.
Graham was inspired by the country's ancient heritage & stunning landscape, to buy a digital camera, some lenses & create a photographic record, specifically to develop them on archival grade, analogue silver halide paper.
In 2013, after spending three years building a portfolio, he took them on a 30,000 mile tour around the USA to market them at 28 juried art shows, Celtic festivals & highland games. He went south to Tallahassee, Florida, east to Long Island, New York and out west to Denver, Colorado. This was an expensive but necessary test to prove that there was a market for his style of work.
Unfortunately at the end of 2013, during his last show in Arlington, Texas, he was bitten on the foot by ixodes scapularis, an arachnid commonly known as a tick. Within weeks, his immune system was overwhelmed & his health deteriorated rapidly. Initial blood tests returned negative for Lyme disease so prescription drugs were limited to painkillers.
Twelve months later, after several brutal tooth infections & excruciatingly painful bouts of shingles, he finally tested positive for Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme Disease) by a lab in Inverness. By now he was so impaired, Graham was unable to walk & unable to feed himself.
Amazingly, it was not possible to get the comprehensive life-saving treatment in Scotland. Rather than proscribe long term, powerful antibiotics, doctors in Dundee referred him to psychologists & mental health experts. So he was flown in a wheelchair to the Jemsek Specialty Clinic in Washington D.C., where he was also diagnosed with a secondary bacteriological infection as well as yet another infection from two nasty parasites.
He spent the next two years drooling, shaking & vomiting binging on a cocktail of 42 antibiotics, anti-malarial & anti-parasitic drugs per day.
It worked. He has since ditched the pill box, composted the sympathy cards (thank you), scrapped the wheelchair & is back on his feet. Which means even more evocative images of Scotland accompanied with an endless supply of smart-ass comments, laissez-faire attitude & acerbic Glaswegian wit. Don't like it? Tough shit, it's included. For free.
In late 2017, he branded his portfolio "Outlander & Beyond" & moved into The Town House, a haunted 17th century tax & excise office underneath a witch's prison. The building which includes an original court room & a debtor's jail as well as his portfolio have become a well known destination of choice for visitors from all over the world.
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Graham Harris Graham - Fine Art Photography
The Town House
Royal Burgh of Culross, Kingdom of Fife