Title: Darkest Time
Size: 120cm x 120cm
Medium: Brass, Aluminium & Resin

Additional Information

Darkest Time

"I was inspired to produce this artwork due to the news of Atlantic salmon being put on the endangered list.

It is an ominous dimly lit view of above and below the water. Above is a headland on the Isle of Lewis near Tolsta and on the horizon across the Minch in the distance are the Assynt hills.

Below the water surface in the depths, salmon pass by on their great, perilous migratory journey heading silently and unnoticed to their source and breeding area. I was endeavouring to portray a contemplative stillness and my awe at an unseen, miraculous moment in nature. 

Wild Atlantic salmon are a keystone species in crisis, having declined by 70% in the last 25 years. The population in Great Britain is now endangered. This is due to pollution, climate change, fish farming and migration barriers.

The importance of the Atlantic Salmon personally.

The salmon represents nature and free spirit in the wilderness and the fact that this icon is now threatened epitomises the dire situation that we as humans now find ourselves in due to greed and belligerence.

From the audacious, precocious parr to the noble old spent kelt, the salmon in all its stages has been a source of fascination and intrigue to me. A trout makes sense and is logical. Cast the right fly, imitating the correct insect at the correct depth, and the trout will try to feed on it.  A salmon however has no such logic.  It seems to have no rhyme or reason as to why it chooses to attack, play with, or pluck at a gaudy imitation of nothing in particular when it doesn’t need to feed. When you catch a salmon it is more like the salmon has allowed you to do so and has given you a gift, so you have to treat this creature with the reverence it deserves.

There is a sense that this fish still holds on to mysteries and we constantly learn from it. It teaches us many of life’s emotions, frustration, joy, intrigue, satisfaction, respect and most importantly patience and to expect the unexpected. Even in folklore the salmon dictates decisions.  When it was proposed that Somerled become Lord of the Isles he agreed, only on the condition that he first catch the fish he was after at that moment (which he did)."

Sam MacDonald

Price: £4800

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About the Artist

Born 1964, Isle of Lewis.

Trained Camberwell School of Art BA (Hons), London

Presently working and residing in East Lothian.

Sam MacDonald, who now lives in East Lothian, grew up on the Isle of Lewis and, after 4 years at Camberwell School of Arts, lived on Orkney for 19 years. This enabled his love of fishing, diving and the sea to combine with his developing skills in metalwork. Sam uses old, traditional metal work techniques to produce contemporary and unique works. He creates impressions of fish and sea vessels, using the tactile effects that metal, its processes and techniques, have to offer.

Travelling internationally to fly fish has always been an inspiration for Sam. Fishing in Venezuela, Pakistan, Mexico, the Bahamas, and the Dominican Republic for bonefish, permit, tarpon and barracuda have been the source for many recent pieces. As have several trips salmon and trout fishing all over Iceland.

Diving on the wrecks in Scapa Flow exposed him to the beauty and power of decomposing submerged engineered structures and their gradual absorption back into nature and so, on moving to Aberlady, the two X5 midget submarine wrecks in the bay were an instant fascination.

Sam is a Signature Member of The Society of Animal Artists USA

He has been featured on BBC 2’s ‘Coast’ programme and has featured in Wildlife Art Journal and X-ray International Diving Magazine.

Work has been acquired for private collections all over the world and Sam has recently installed two large salmon pieces in the prestigious East Ranga Lodge in Iceland.

In 2012 Sam had a large solo show in The Gallery, Cork Street, London. He has also shown at various group exhibitions in galleries including the House of Bruar, CLA Game Fairs, the Royal Scottish Academy, The Wykeham Gallery and Visions West Gallery, Montana.

‘My artistic endeavour is to observe and capture fleeting moments of nature. I try to express an emotional response to something very private, a moment shared between man and nature.’

Featured on BBC 2 “Coast” TV program 2008


2000 -The Constant Moment, Pier Arts Centre, Orkney (free standing large steel sculpture)


2006 - Institute of Medical Science, Aberdeen (large bronze relief)


2008 – “Stornoway Regeneration” Herring Bronze Plaque

2009 - Six pieces for new cruise liner “Azura’



2012 The Gallery, Cork Street

2010 Alexander Meddowes Gallery. Edinburgh

2006 Stenton Gallery, East Lothian

2004 Maclaurin Art Gallery, Rozelle house

2003 Stenton Gallery, East Lothian

2003 Queens Road Gallery, Aberdeen

2002 Depth, The Orkney Museum, Kirkwall

2001 Fish, The Weem Gallery, Pittenweem, Fife

2001 Fish, Pier Arts Centre Stromness


2009 Dunkeld art exhibition featured artist

2009 Redspot Artists C.L.A. Game Fair Belvoir Castle

2008 Whitehouse gallery ‘Countryside pursuits’

2008 Redspot Artists C.L.A. Game Fair Blenheim Palace

2008 House of Bruar, ongoing exhibition

2008 The Wykeham Gallery Hampshire

2008 Strathearn Gallery Crieff

2008 Frames Gallery, Perth

2008 Heinzel Gallery, Aberdeen

2008 Shetland Museum “Along the edges”

2007 House of Bruar “Redspot Artists”

2007 Whitehouse Gallery “Countryside Pursuits”

2007 Royal Scottish Academy Annual Show

2007 Visual Arts Scotland, R.S.A.

2006 Gallery Heinzel

2006 Redspot Artists C.L.A. Game Fair

2006 House of Bruar Gallery/ House of Hardy

2006 The Wykeham Gallery, Hampshire

2004 /2005 SWLA Mall Galleries London