Bonnie Ogilvie

Netherlands, 1994


Bonnie Ogilvie is born and raised in Amsterdam, with strong family roots in Scotland, where she discovered she has a Scottish tartan belonging to her family name.

Family Ties

I have been interested in textiles for a number of years and particularly how textiles connect to certain groups. I've been researching the tartan since the beginning of my studies. The tartan for me stands in relation with families ties and group portrait photography. My interest partly stems from my Dutch-Scottish origin; my fathers is Scottish. Scotland has an ancient tradition of weaving tartans and tweeds. The tartan is therefore a substance associated with a family, although this does not always mean blood relatives. My work addresses a broader interpretation of the word 'family'. It is about connection, carrying emotional and personal baggage throughout our lives. We humans seek connection through music, art, fashion, and textiles, and as a result feel connected to certain subgroups that we can identify with. The Scottish tartan plays a role in this because the different lines that intersect each other convey a meaning. The tartan gives meaning to an identity, as a mark of social status, a symbol of loyalty and rebellion, and today, a fashionable version of the fabric. 

My graduation project Family Ties is the culmination of my research into tartans and their connection with families and family portraits. I have captured different figures and poses, placing them against backdrops made of layers of tartan structures in different materials. These 3-meter-high backdrops become like the family portraits we value so much, as they underscore our connectedness. The backdrops are linked to a collection of garments made in the same colors and materials.



Thank you to Xiomara, Sophie, Tailo, Kaja and Tida.