In 1978 Franki moved to Callanish on the Isle of Lewis to renovate a derelict farmhouse. She lived on Lewis for four years, running the farm and working as a self-employed weaver in the Harris Tweed industry. During this time she decided to take up photography seriously and built herself a small darkroom. She photographed her neighbours and life in the community.
An image from this period was published by the Stramullion feminist publishing collective in their 1982 Herstories Calendar. After Franki moved to Edinburgh she selected a number of the images she had taken to be shown in an exhibition entitled Lewis Women at The First of May bookshop, Edinburgh, 1983.
These early photographs demonstrate that from the start of her creative practice Franki wanted to make images reflecting women’s ordinary lives, and specifically women at work. These are themes she would revisit throughout her career. These Hebridean images were the starting point for later projects such as To Let You Understand, Women Workers and Lot’s Wife.
Herstories Calendar (featuring photography by Franki Raffles)