This series of images focuses particularly on the articulation subjectively and objectively of the border line and the cultural expressions created by the social, political and historical processes manifested from this. Railton’s photographs examine the pauses between the states of space and place, dealing with the stillness that endures from the interaction between nature and human life. The border between England and Scotland stretches just over 80 miles from along the River Tweed in the East and into The Solway Firth in the West. At each road that allows you to cross, there are signs to tell you which country you are in. Most of the time you step you are not sure which country you are in. Following the route of the border through the landscape, Paul Railton's project The Thistle and the Rose asks questions of the artificial construct of a border and the cultural implications that can manifest from bordering; social constructs of what makes one country or another are invisible along the line that denotes a border. 


The Thistle and The Rose

Bidh na cuantan mara ann an sàmhchair

Tha gaoth biorach a ‘bualadh

Chan eil soidhnichean ri leantainn

Eadar a ‘mhuir agus an linne

Roimheam loidhne


Sruth a ‘chlò

sgaoileadh a-steach air fhèin

Bidh fraoch a ‘gluasad mar tonnan

Air na beanntan


Alba, Sasainn

Sasainn, Alba


Heal an dèidh do sheal

Eadar craobh, ri taobh glanadh

Bidh caoraich a ‘giùlan bho chonn-smachd iomallach

Tha a ‘ghrian a’ sruthadh dhan iar

Bidh cnuic a ‘fàs mar fhuaran orains


Tha fuachd sneachda a ‘dèanamh a slighe,

tro na cnàmhan

Air adhart, thu fhèin! A ‘mhuir

Chan eil a ‘mhuir ann

A ‘falach air cùl geal glas tana

The sea shifts in silence

A sharp wind blows

No signs to follow

In between the sea and firth

Before me a line, 


The flow of the tweed

Tumbles in on itself 

Heather moves like waves

Upon the hills


Scotland, England

England, Scotland


Heel after heel

Between a tree, along a clearing

Sheep hurry from remote control dogs

The sun shrinks west

Hills become an orange scowl


Snow cold makes its way, 

through the bones

Towards, You! The sea

The sea isn’t there

Hiding behind a thin grey haze.