Gather Connect Inspire!

On May 14th and 15th Skye ATLAS Arts are running an arts event, Gather Connect Inspire, which aims to inspire creativity, create connections and exchange skills. Document Scotland are very pleased to have been invited, and Colin McPherson and I are excited to attend and participate.

On the morning of Thursday 14th Colin and I will present photography work by Document Scotland and other photographers who we have showcased on our website, and in the afternoon we will participate in workshops and be available for one-on-one photography portfolio sessions with local artists and photographers.

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From the webpage for the event, where you can also book incredibly reasonably priced tickets, but you’d better hurry as there is a limit to the numbers…

Confirmed speakers include:

Future Postive Studio – a multidisciplinary creative and digital studio that specialises in content, strategy and social outreach. Co-founders Jakub Michalski and Igor Termenon will expolore the potential of digital technology and offer one-to-one or workshop opportunities to discuss any questions you many have about how to use digital to its best advantage

Highland Print Studio – an open access workshop with facilities for printmaking (intaglio, relief, sceenprinting and stone lithography) and digital imaging. Studio Manager John McNaught will discuss the facilites and the work of the HPS and run one-to-one portfolio reviews for aspiring and well-established printmakers

Hot Tap Media – is a digital production company. Its director, Rebecca Thompson, will give an insight into the potential of crowdfunding as a means to fund creative projects. She will also offer more personal advice during one-to-ones or small group workshops

The Poundshop – an art project with the goal of spreading design to a wider audience and creating a platform for designers to sell items in pop-up shops. Sara Melin will give a presentation and run also run a creative workshop

Talent Development Initiative – there will be presentations from three successful applicants of the 2014 Talent Development Initiative: Suzy Lee, Heather McDermott and Emma Noble giving them the opportunity to showcase how their work has developed thanks to the support of this programme

Wasps Studios – a charity that provides affordable studios to support artists and arts organisations across Scotland. Michelle Emery-Barker will reveal their plans to develop a studio with accommodation in Skye

There will also be an evening meal on Thursday 14 May at the Isle of Skye Baking Company featuring a performance from Leighton Jones (included in the cost of your ticket)

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We look forward to hopefully seeing you there! Join us!

Archiving Community Storytelling: Challenges and Opportunities

A week or so ago I attended a seminar hosted by Digital Commonwealth at the University of the West of Scotland, in Paisley, near Glasgow. The seminar, a one day event, was on the topic of Archiving Community Storytelling: Challenges and Opportunities.

The event was an opportunity for practitioners, academics and activists to explore the issues, opportunities and challenges of archiving community-based storytelling in the digital age.

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Presentations included Eilidh MacGlone (National Library of Scotland) presentating on “Archiving Digital Artefacts: Policy and Practice”, Tamar Millen‘s (Community Media Association) presentation on “Community media archiving in a research context”, Sara Thomas‘ (Wikimedian in Residence at Museums Galleries Scotland) presentation on ‘Reducing barriers to accessing open knowledge’, and more.

As a photographer, and through my work with my colleagues in Document Scotland, this was of course a topic of interest as we deal every day with concepts and implications of digital asset management, of metadata, keywording, and archiving photographs. How do we manage digital data in our long term projects? How do we archive usefully and sensibly in order that it will benefit future generations? Do we archive everything, or selectively edit and archive the edit only, and who does the editing, the artists or the community he/she is working with or documenting? There were many points brought up for discussion, with much to contemplate and take from the day’s seminar as I move forward on my projects.

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I think the key point for me for the day was the very line that on our projects now, with the amount of digital data that we amass – images, audio and movie files, that archiving has to be considered and built into the project from the very outset. There has to be a workflow for managing it, cataloging it, maintaining it, and an expectation and plan for the archiving of it – from the very beginning.

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Jennifer Jones, one of the organisers and hosts, has very usefully collated Tweets, links and presentations into a Storify page and I link it here (Archiving Community Storytelling: Challenges and Opportunities) as it contains information and links which may be of interest and use to those who grapple with and contemplate the above issues. Many thanks Jennifer and Professor David McGillivray for hosting the event and making it all possible.

 

Photography in Scotland, panel discussion.

Earlier this week I represented Document Scotland on a panel discussion held in Edinburgh on the topic of ‘Photography in Scotland’. Organised and hosted by Ratio 7:1 photography collective, a new collective of students of photography from Napier University, and held to coincide with their ‘Dismantle’ exhibition which is currently showing, the evening was deemed to be a huge success by all who took part and those attending as audience. Speakers on the discussion panel, ably chaired by Ratio 7:1’s John Dougan, were Malcolm Dickson of Street Level Photoworks, photographers David Eustace, Ron O’Donnell, & myself, and Dr. Roberta McGrath of Napier University, Edinburgh. Lively debates emerged between audience and panel, stimulated by questions from the audience on subjects such as gender bias in photography, the history of Scottish photography, the future of photography in Scotland, and what is success and how do you achieve it? As ever there were no definitive answers, but lots of opinions offered giving much fuel for thought and further discussion.

Document Scotland would like to congratulate John Dougan and his Ratio 7:1 colleagues on their ‘Dismantle’ photography show, and for organising and hosting such a successful panel discussion event. To find out a little more about Ratio 7:1, why they hosted the discussion evening, etc, we asked John to tell us a bit of their plans. The below comes from John and shows a few images of the evening.

 

John Dougan of Ratio 7:1 introduces the panel event. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2015, all rights reserved.
John Dougan of Ratio 7:1 introduces the panel event. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2015, all rights reserved.

 

The audience at the panel event. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2015, all rights reserved.
The audience at the panel event. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2015, all rights reserved.

 

Malcolm Dickson (centre of image) of Street Level Photoworks answers a question at the panel event. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2015, all rights reserved.
Malcolm Dickson (centre of image) of Street Level Photoworks answers a question at the panel event. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2015, all rights reserved.

 

“Ratio 7:1 is a collective made up of seven year three students on the BA Photography programme at Edinburgh Napier University. John Dougan, Lysann Ehmann, Erin Semple, Susan McFadzean, Adam Kinship, Denitsa Toshirova and Anete Atvare came together to form Ratio 7:1 as part of a course module that required students to form a group and hold an exhibition of their work. The outcome of this was Dismantle, an exhibition held at Gayfield Creative Spaces in Edinburgh between 20th-26th March 2015.

Since the start of the process, we aimed to put on an event that would be well received and memorable to the people who heard of us and passed through the doors, this is how Question Time came about. We wanted to put on a panel discussion set up by students for people who, like ourselves, were interested in gaining insight into what the landscape of Scottish photography is like and what it takes to become a player in the industry.

For us, the event was a huge success and the liveliness of the discussion was very inspiring. Hearing well respected individuals share fiery exchanges clearly showed an existing passion for photography. I know for sure that we, as well as many of our friends in the audience found the experience very motivating. What was particularly beneficial was getting the opportunity to hear people we perceive as successful speak openly about the relationship between their personal and professional lives. This was a great opportunity to build realistic expectations on what life will be like post university.

 

Photographer artist Ron O'Donnell (in blue) talks at the panel event. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2015, all rights reserved.
Photographer artist Ron O’Donnell (in blue) talks at the panel event. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2015, all rights reserved.

 

The audience at the panel event. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2015, all rights reserved.
The audience at the panel event. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2015, all rights reserved.

 

The panel! Left to right: Artist Ron O'Donnell, Street Level's Malcolm Dickson, Dr. Roberta McGrath of Napier Univ., John Dougan of Ratio 7:1, and Photographers David Eustace and Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2015, all rights reserved.
The panel! Left to right: Artist Ron O’Donnell, Street Level’s Malcolm Dickson, Dr. Roberta McGrath of Napier Univ., John Dougan of Ratio 7:1, and Photographers David Eustace and Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2015, all rights reserved.

 

After such a positive experience with Tuesday night’s discussion, I personally would love to explore the idea of hosting more panel discussions, perhaps hosting a weekend of talks in the future. I know that TalkSee Photography, who are based in Glasgow recently held a panel discussion with Malcolm Dickson of StreetLevel, Ben Harman of Stills and Amanda Catto of Creative Scotland on at the CCA in Glasgow which was well attended and offered good discussion points also. I wouldn’t be opposed to collaborating with the organisers at TalkSee to see what we can do to make sure debates continue to happen in both Glasgow and Edinburgh.

In regards to Ratio 7:1, after two long semesters we are taking a break to concentrate on other areas of our studies. This however does not mean that we won’t come back together in the future, it is just hard to say for sure at the moment. All seven of us will continue to make work and will hopefully have more opportunities to exhibit said works in the near future. You can keep up to date with all of our activity via our facebook page and out Twitter page.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Document Scotland and all of the participants for being a part of the discussion and supporting our exhibition and programme of events.” – John Dougan, Ratio 7:1 photography collective.

 

A day of politics

Well, yesterday here in Glasgow, Scotland, was a day of politics. A good day to be an editorial photographer looking for images.

It started early, out before the crows had ransacked the garbage bins, out into the damp, dark morning, and a drive into the town centre. The Better Together campaign were around handing out newspapers putting forward their side of the forthcoming independence referendum argument. Photographing them canvassing, distributing made for nicer pictures than I imagined it would. The morning colours, the sky lightening, the street and shop illuminations reflecting on the dark wet Glasgow streets. There was plenty of colour as the rush hour commuters made their way…



Carys Hughes, of Better Together campaign group, handing out newspapers at 7.30am, in Glasgow, Scotland. 
©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2013, all rights reserved.

And then, with those photographs in the bag, it was a short skip and drive to the Glasgow Science Centre, to photograph the launch by the Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, and Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, of the white paper guide to Indpendence. A 670-page tome of thoughts and answers on how it might all work should Scotland vote Yes in the referendum next September 18th.

This shoot was quite as colourful, nor as cold or dark. But you do wonder who stage manages these events and how they think of photographers. Treated like schoolboys who can’t be trusted, yet with decades of experience between us, the photographers were shepherded into a small pen area, away off to the side of the stage. A poor angle, with no freedom to move around. But hey, you work with what you can get, and use your initiative and when the moment arrives, your elbows…



First Minister Alex Salmond, and deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, holding the newly launched white paper on independence, Glasgow, Scotland. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2013, all rights reserved. 

All images from the day are available to licence via my agents Getty Images, see here for photographs of campaigners of Better Together, and here for photographs of First Minister Alex Salmond and his Independence White Paper.

Thanks, best wishes.

 

‘By The Glow Of The Jukebox’

In 1955 American photographer Robert Frank received a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation grant  to travel across the United States and photograph all strata of its society. He took his family along with him for part of his series of road trips over the next two years, during which time he took 28,000 shots. Only 83 of those images were finally selected by him for publication in his seminal documentary book ‘The Americans’.

Now, more than half a century after Frank took his road trips, my good friend and colleague, American photographer Jason Eskenazi, has compiled a list of photographer’s favourite images chosen from Frank’s ‘The Americans’. It was whilst working as a security guard at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, that Jason began to ask photographers he knew who were visiting the ‘The Americans: Looking In’ exhibition, about Robert Frank’s book, what their favorite image from the book was and why. In the 2 years since he quit his guard job, as he himself got back out on the road again to shoot, he compiled those answers into a book format. The resulting list of notes and thoughts, of 276 photographers from around the world, including one by myself, has now been self-published as a book entitled ‘By The Glow Of The Jukebox, The Americans List’.

'By The Glow Of The Jukebox'.

With the thoughts on Frank’s photos by some of the great photographers of our times, James Nachtwey, Alex Webb, Larry Fink, Josef Koudelka, Maggie Steber, Carl De Keyser and a host of others, the book gives a fascinating insight into how we read photos, what we take from them and what, as photographers, we look for.

For my entry, my favourite image, I chose the last image in Frank’s book, entitled ‘U.S. 90, en route to Del Rio, Texas’. But I shan’t tell you why I chose it, for that you have to buy the book.

Click here to buy Jason Eskenazi’s ‘By The Glow Of The Jukebox, The Americans List’.

And below we have the man himself, photographer Robert Frank, reading the book of thoughts on his work which was presented to him by Jason Eskenazi. Image courtesy of Clark Winter and Jason Eskenazi.

Photographer Robert Frank reading 'By The Glow Of The Jukebox; The Americans List' by Jason Eskenazi. Photo courtesy of ©Clark Winter 2012, all rights reserved.