This exhibition profiles aspects of Glasgow in 26 photographs covering styles of social documentary and portraiture to street and architectural photography, by several photographers who are associated with Street Level as artists and co-creators. The work portrays a unique profile of a city in constant transition – from the mid 70s, when half the city’s tenements were being demolished and the other half undergoing transformation and construction, to more recent depictions of people and place which convey the energy of change in the environment and in the diversity and demographics of its inhabitants. From a city recovering from the post-war deindustrialisation and depopulation, to one that has cohered around community spirit, civic pride and a cultural resurgence in its art, music, theatre and writing, the exhibition aims to capture aspects of the social, cultural and political identify of Scotland’s largest city.
I’m pleased to announce that some of my archive work, of shipbuilding on Glasgow’s River Clyde in the 1990’s, has been published as a small book, and is due to be exhibited over the summer here in Glasgow.
The show opening is Friday, June 3rd, at 6pm if you’re in the neighbourhood and would like to pop by. My book will be on sale at the show also, and on Saturday 4th June I’ll be talking about the work at the gallery. Please join us!
The book and exhibition were showcased a few days back by the Daily Record. You can read the article here, and here’s how it looked in a pretty decent spread.
This exhibition at Street Level, curated by director Malcolm Dickson, will encompass the work of four photographers- Michal Szlaga of Poland, Nick Hedges of England, Raymond Depardon of France, and myself. The works on show link the shipyards of Govan in Glasgow and Gdansk in Poland and their post-industrial decline and resilience.
Michal Szlaga’s ‘Stocznia/Shipyard – Documents of Loss’ is the outcome of a 15 year project in which Szlaga has documented the buildings of the Gdansk Shipyard, their gradual demolition and the construction of new ones. For Szlaga, the shipyard represents a dynamic landscape of industrial architecture reflecting history and its people, the images loaded with memories of the turbulent times of the anti-communist revolution.
In 1980, the French Magnum photographer Raymond Depardon was commissioned by the Sunday Times to record aspects of Glasgow and the evocative results are now lauded as telling an unremittingly bleak portrayal of urban deprivation and decay. In 1968 Nick Hedges was commissioned by the housing charity Shelter to document the abject living conditions being experienced in slum housing in the UK, including Glasgow. The images here are from the seminal and humanistic body of work ‘A Life Worth Living’, which, like Depardon’s work, see children happily at play against the backdrop of the Govan cranes, evidence of a community spirit unthwarted by the harsh realities of life. Shot for editorial clients, Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert’s ‘Shipbuilding’ from the mid-1990’s is a critical time capsule at the Kvaerner shipyards in Govan which catches the monumentality of this industry and the people who drove it.
The exhibition ‘Govan/Gdansk’ and the programme of events around the exhibition are organised in association with an RSE – funded research network on Regeneration and Waterfront Heritage Zones, exploring participatory approaches to waterfront regeneration in urban spaces in transition in Northern European cities. The main case studies of regeneration focus on Govan and wider Glasgow (Scotland) and Gdansk (Poland), each of which are dealing with the consequences of the post-industrial demise of the shipbuilding industry, trying to find a transition into a new economy and community.
Street Level Photoworks | 4th June 2016, 1-4pm
Symposium: Attracted to dereliction? Documenting post-industrial heritage
• Prof Katarzyna Kosmala (UWS) Introduction – Gdansk/Govan; Govan/Gdansk
• Michal Szlaga talk and tour of the works
• Dr Waldemar Affelt (Nicolaus Copernicus University, Torun, and the Main Conservation Commission to the General Conservator of the Polish Republic) addressing issues of documenting and conversation, linking to his on-going research on Gdansk shipyard and post-industrial regeneration.
• Talks: Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert, Chris Leslie
• Discussion facilitated by Graham Jeffery (UWS)
UWS, School of Media Culture and Society, Paisley Campus | 3rd June 2016, 1-3pm, Room A100
UWS research seminar series: Panel on politics of regeneration, artists lens and community engagement with Polish artist Michal Szlaga’s video screening
• Chair Prof Katarzyna Kosmala (UWS)
• Dr Waldemar Affelt (Nicolaus Copernicus University, Torun, and the Main Conservation Commission to the General Conservator of the Polish Republic) discussing his collaboration with Michal Szlaga in Gdansk shipyard, problematizing the heritage value of the site.
• Roman Sebastyanski (UWS) addressing Gdansk shipyard regeneration through artists lens and public participation.
• Dr Peter Matthews (Stirling University) discussing politics around connecting communities to/in post-regeneration era.
Alongside the exhibition we will be selling copies of Raymond Depardon’s ‘Glasgow’.
112 pages, 30x23cm, £20, and Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert’s ‘Shipbuilding on the River Clyde’ on Cafe Royal Books, £7.
First up, nice usage of some photography I shot on assignment for Greenpeace in Iitate, near Fukushima, in Japan, covering the nuclear radiation decontamination efforts there. It’s a shocking state of affairs there, the Fukushima nuclear disaster is far from finished and it is estimated the clean up will take at least another 40 years…but of course Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his government wish to present a clean, decontaminated face to the world as the 2020 Olympics looms.
Here’s the cover and a spread from the recent Greenpeace report which used the images, and which makes for sobering reading.
Image above shows a Japanese worker ‘decontaminating’ the forest, one stone at a time…the moss will grow back in weeks, and be contaminated due to the radiation held within the soil. A couple more spreads below from within the report…
Another tear sheet just popped in to the studio is the below, a series of images shot for Historic Scotland magazine documenting a day in the life of one of their Rangers, and a journalist trying out the job for the day. It was a fascinating reportage and portrait shoot, on Edinburgh’s Holyrood Park and Arthur’s Seat, granting me a fascinating insight in the park life, its history and the archaeology of the area.
The job required it was shot in mid-Winter, but the brief required the images to look like Spring as that is when the article would run in the magazine. The day of the shoot was a cold, dark, grey, winter day. Nothing like spring. But then the clouds parted and for 10 minutes there was blue sky and sunshine. I shot like crazy. Hey presto, spring time.
Alas, I was disappointed by the usage of the images, by the spread. The design wasn’t to my liking so much, but the client was happy and that ultimately is the aim.
Unsullied And Untarnished, by Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert
Ian Borthwick, Emblem Bearer of the Barley Banna’, Langholm Common Riding, Scotland, 2014. From the project and new book ‘Unsullied And Untarnished’.
To coincide with Document Scotland’s ‘The Ties That Bind‘ show at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh (until 24th April 2016), I’ve published a book of photographs from my recent project ‘Unsullied And Untarnished‘.
The info below, with a couple of spreads, gives you a flavour of the book which contains mainly portraiture with some reportage. I’ve been fortunate and feel honoured that photojournalist Harry Benson, honorary patron of Document Scotland, has written a little foreword for the book, and Alex Massie, Scotland editor of The Spectator, has written a beautiful essay for the book which explains the Common Riding festivals, and what they mean to the participants and communities. It’s a great essay.
The book can be ordered via my website, or via the buttons below. Thank you for taking a look, and if you’ve any questions please drop me a note. At the foot of the page there is a list of shops which also stock Unsullied And Untarnished.