Born in Reading, England in 1972, Catriona Trafford Fraser's photographic career began at the age of fifteen, when she was hired as an Assistant Photographer trainee and Darkroom Assistant by the Reading Evening Post newspaper. One year later she became the youngest student ever admitted to the prestigious Plymouth College of Arts and Design's photography Diploma course.
In 1991 she founded Cairn Photography, her own fine arts photography business in Fettercairn, Scotland under the auspices of the Aberdeen Enterprise Trust. Soon after that, she began using black and white infrared film to document some of the lesser known Pictish standing stones and Pictish stone circles which are a nearly forgotten legacy of northern Britain's pre-Scottish past.
Her work in this area consists of two concurrent projects: the first part aims to document some of the more remote stone monuments which are the only legacy of the extinct culture of people known as Picts who once inhabited the regions of present day Scotland.
The second part of the work moves onto medieval Scotland, by documenting the castles, fortresses and keeps which abundantly dot the rugged Scottish countryside and are a solemn reminder of the violence which governed this land routinely from the extinction of the Picts to the early 19th century.
Catriona Fraser's work has been exhibited widely in many galleries in Europe, Latin America and the United States. Additionally, her work has been exhibited in the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh, the Otero Museum in Colorado, the Museu de Brusque in Brazil and the Rufino Tamayo Museum of Contemporary Art in Mexico City. She has been awarded a variety of awards, including Best of Show at the 17th Annual International Photography Competition in Arkansas, First Prize at the Roseville Photography Open and First Prize in Photography at both the 1994 and 1995 Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festivals.
As a curator and juror, Ms. Fraser has orchestrated, organized, curated and juried over 100 fine art exhibitions ranging from being the peer juror at the 1996 Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival to curating shows for various Washington, DC, Virginia and Maryland galleries and artists' organizations and leagues.
In 1996, Ms. Fraser opened the Fraser Gallery in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. The gallery has already attracted wide critical and public attention and has become a preferred vehicle for local emerging artists and national artists, as well as British artists to debut in Washington. In 2002 she opened a second Fraser Gallery in nearby Bethesda, MD, four times the size of the original Fraser Gallery.
In 2003 Catriona Fraser founded Secondsight. Secondsight is an organization dedicated to the advancement of women photographers through support, communication and sharing of ideas and opportunities.
Ms. Fraser serves on the Bethesda Arts and Entertainment District Advisory Panel and the Washington School of Photography Advisory Board. She has also served on the Advisory Panel for the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery CountyMs. Fraser is the Chair of the Trawick Prize, a fine art competition that awards $14,000 in prize money to artists residing in Maryland, Washington D.C and Virginia and is also Chair of the Bethesda Painting Awards, an annual competition that awards $14,000 to painters residing in Maryland, Washington D.C and Virginia.
Ms. Fraser is the Director of the Bethesda Fine Arts Festival. A two-day outdoor fine arts festival that brings 150 fine artists and over 20,000 collectors to downtown Bethesda. The 2007 Bethesda Fine Arts Festival will be held on May 12th and May 13th. For more information about the 2007 festival and an application form, visit www.Bethesda.org.
Catriona Fraser resides in Potomac, Maryland, about 30 minutes north of Washington, DC, with her son, Callum Fraser-Sharp. Callum, 16, is the great-grandson of bagpiping legend, Bob Brown.