A night at The Scottish National Portrait Gallery

We are still buzzing after such an interesting, creative and energetic evening at The Scottish National Portrait Gallery last night for Document Scotland’s 1st ever portrait event “Face To Face: The Portrait in Photography Today”.

Crowds gathering before the Document Scotland photography event "Face To Face: The Portrait in Photography Today" at The Scottish National Portrait Gallery on May 14th 2014.

Crowds gathering before the event “Face To Face: The Portrait in Photography Today” at The Scottish National Portrait Gallery on May 14th 2014
image © Sophie Gerrard/Document Scotland 2014 all rights reserved

 

Thank you to the photographers which Document Scotland invited to take part along side us, Ben Roberts, Arpita Shah, Emily Macinnes and Graham MacIndoe. Thank you to Annie Lyden, the International Curator of Photography at The Scottish National Portrait Gallery, and her brilliant team for chairing and organising the event with us. Thank you to you the audience for coming along, for sending us your support from a distance if you were unable to make it, for following the events on Twitter, for being there, for helping to spread the word, for making it such a success and for your support of Document Scotland on our (relatively short but eventful) journey so far.

Here’s some images from the night, if any of you have any others which you’d like to share with us please do send them in – we’d love to see them.

Everyone takes their seats and we're ready to get started.  © Carly Shearer, SNPG 2014 all rights reserved

Everyone takes their seats and we’re ready to get started.
© Carly Shearer, SNPG 2014 all rights reserved

Sophie Gerrard shows her new on-going project, "Homecoming" at the Document Scotland photography event "Face To Face: The Portrait in Photography Today" at The Scottish National Portrait Gallery on May 14th 2014 Copyright © Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert/Document Scotland 2014 all rights reserved

Sophie Gerrard shows her new on-going project, “Homecoming”
© Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert/Document Scotland 2014 all rights reserved

 

The evening started off with Document Scotland’s Sophie Gerrard who showed new work, made over the last 18 months during Sophie’s return to Scotland. Sophie talked about re-aquainting herself with Scotland through portraiture – and spoke of the collaboration between sitter and photographer when making a portrait.

Sophie Gerrard showing "Homecoming"  © Emily Macinnes 2014 all rights reserved

Sophie Gerrard talks about portraits from the series “Homecoming”
© Emily Macinnes 2014 all rights reserved

 

Then we heard from Jeremy who talked us through his Roma portraits, his experiences of living and visiting the camps and later houses of those featured in the project, some individuals he met and re-photographed almost 10 years later. Jeremy also showed a short piece of film footage of him in the camp making his portraits.

Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert introducing the crowd to his Roma project © Colin MacPherson/Document Scotland 2014 all rights reserved

Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert introducing the crowd to his “Roma of Sinesti” work
© Colin McPherson/Document Scotland 2014 all rights reserved

Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert talks through portraits from his "Roma of Sintesti"   © Emily Macinnes 2014 all rights reserved

Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert talks through portraits from his “Roma of Sintesti” project
© Emily Macinnes 2014 all rights reserved

 

Next up was Ben Roberts, who started by talking about some his influences, Chris Killip & Laura Pannack and then showed us images from the series ‘Higher Lands’, which Document Scotland featured as a portfolio on the website last year. He talked about his photographic process and approach to making the portraits and also about why they have remained such a popular body of work, raising the question that perhaps we all see a little of ourselves in these portraits.

Ben Roberts shows work from his project "Higher Lands" © Sophie Gerrard/Document Scotland 2014 all rights reserved

Ben Roberts shows work from his project “Higher Lands”
© Sophie Gerrard/Document Scotland 2014 all rights reserved

Ben Roberts shows work from his project "Higher Lands" © Sophie Gerrard/Document Scotland 2014 all rights reserved

Ben Roberts shows work from his project “Higher Lands”
© Sophie Gerrard/Document Scotland 2014 all rights reserved

 

After Ben we watched a moving piece of multimedia by Graham MacIndoe documenting his journey through heroin and crack cocaine addiction. Graham’s images have been featured in The Guardian and other press lately and his decision to release such a personal body of work was something he talked about in the multimedia presentation he made for the evening.

Jeremy introducing Graham MacIndoe's work. © Colin McPherson/Document Scotland 2014 all rights reserved

Jeremy introducing Graham MacIndoe’s work.
© Colin McPherson/Document Scotland 2014 all rights reserved

Graham MacIndoe wasn't here on the night but we watched a moving multimedia presentation of "My Addiction, through My Eyes" © Sophie Gerrard/Document Scotland 2014 all rights reserved

Graham MacIndoe wasn’t here on the night but we watched a moving multimedia presentation of “My Addiction, Through My Eyes”
© Sophie Gerrard/Document Scotland 2014 all rights reserved

The audience - a sold out show at the Document Scotland photography event "Face To Face: The Portrait in Photography Today" at The Scottish National Portrait Gallery on May 14th 2014 © Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert/Document Scotland 2014 all rights reserved

The audience – a sold out show at the Document Scotland photography event “Face To Face: The Portrait in Photography Today” at The Scottish National Portrait Gallery on May 14th 2014
© Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert/Document Scotland 2014 all rights reserved

 

After the break first up was Colin McPherson with a lighter hearted look at his portraiture taken mostly from his 1 year journey along the border of Scotland with England. His presentation showed people he’d encountered along the way and those who had become part of the journey but who, in his words, remained strangers. He titled the collection “In the Company of Strangers”

Colin McPherson shows his work, "In The Company of Strangers"  © Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert/Document Scotland 2014 all rights reserved

Colin McPherson shows his work, “In The Company of Strangers”
© Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert/Document Scotland 2014 all rights reserved

 

Then we heard from Arpita Shah who took us through a several bodies of her work, and talked about the relationship between mythology and portraiture and how she uses it to explore the experience of Diaspora for Asians living in Scotland.

Arpita Shah talks about her work  © Emily Macinnes 2014 all rights reserved

Arpita Shah talks about her work
© Emily Macinnes 2014 all rights reserved

Arpita Shah talks about her work  © Sophie Gerrard 2014 all rights reserved

Arpita Shah talks about her work
© Sophie Gerrard 2014 all rights reserved

 

Then it was Emily Macinnes who showed, for the 1st time her project “Paradise Lost: Testimonies of Abuse”, a powerful presentation of images and text documenting the thoughts and experiences of men who have suffered sexual abuse. A powerful and moving piece.

Emily Macinnes talks to the audience and shows her work "Paradise Lost: Testimonies of Abuse"  © Sophie Gerrard/Document Scotland 2014 all rights reserved

Emily Macinnes talks to the audience and shows her work “Paradise Lost: Testimonies of Abuse”
© Sophie Gerrard/Document Scotland 2014 all rights reserved

Emily Macinnes talks to the audience and shows her work "Paradise Lost: Testimonies of Abuse"  © Sophie Gerrard/Document Scotland 2014 all rights reserved

Emily Macinnes talks to the audience and shows her work “Paradise Lost: Testimonies of Abuse”
© Sophie Gerrard/Document Scotland 2014 all rights reserved

 

Last, to finish the night was  Stephen McLaren’s work who’s series of portraits of Americans in California was introduced by Annie Lyden and left us all with the sound of bagpipes in our ears – and a smile on our faces.

 

Stephen McLaren's photographs from "American Always, Scottish Forever"  © Sophie Gerrard/Document Scotland 2014 all rights reserved

Stephen McLaren’s photographs from “American Always, Scottish Forever”
© Sophie Gerrard/Document Scotland 2014 all rights reserved

 

All the photographers on stage for the Q&A with Anne Lyden, International Photography Curator at The Scottish National Portrait Gallery (l-r) Anne Lyden, Emily Macinnes, Arpita Shah, Ben Roberts, Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert, Sophie Gerrard & Colin McPherson © Document Scotland 2014 all rights reserved

All the photographers on stage for the Q&A with Anne Lyden, International Photography Curator at The Scottish National Portrait Gallery (l-r) Anne Lyden, Emily Macinnes, Arpita Shah, Ben Roberts, Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert, Sophie Gerrard & Colin McPherson
© Document Scotland 2014 all rights reserved

 

 

 

 

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Jim Yorkston – Haneen lil watten

Jim Yorkston’s exhibition opened at the Filmhouse last night.

We’ve been on the lookout for an opportunity to feature Jim’s work on the Document Scotland blog so we had a chat with him about this latest work ‘Haneen lil watten’ – meaning ‘A Yearning for my Homeland.’

Rima, Jayyus © Jim Yorkston 2014 all rights reserved.

Rima, Jayyus © Jim Yorkston 2014 all rights reserved.

 

Dreaming of Jerusalem © Jim Yorkston 2014 all rights reserved.

Dreaming of Jerusalem © Jim Yorkston 2014 all rights reserved.

 

DS – What’s this new work about and how did you get involved with the project?

JY – This project was conceived and created for the Jill Todd Photographic Award 2013. Having completed my BA in Professional Photography I was eligible to apply to the award and, I felt it would be a good way of maintaining the momentum of the course by working on a fresh project with a hand in date.

‘Haneen lil watten’ (a yearning for my homeland) began as a series of photographic portraits resulting from my encounters with various Palestinian people living in Scotland. Using ‘home’ as a central theme, a fluid and diverse concept to people of Palestinian descent, each sitter is viewed in a moment of contemplation as they think of ‘home’. Through the portraits I also wanted to describe the objects and items the people kept close to them as reminders of home, and as a continuation of their culture from afar. This led me into looking closer at the textures, which seemed to be a prevalent across the different homes I visited and which are also an important part of the Palestinian culture.

 

Ahmad---Ya'bad

Ahmad – Ya’bad © Jim Yorkston 2014 all rights reserved.

 

Hadeel #1 © Jim Yorkston 2014 all rights reserved.

Hadeel #1 © Jim Yorkston 2014 all rights reserved.

 

JY – For as long as I can remember, I have had an interest in Palestinian history and affairs so ‘Haneen lil watten’ has been, for me, a personal exploration of the issue of Palestine, now shared with a wider audience.

My reason for including the mixture of portraits and details and textiles was I wanted to get away from only showing a portrait after a portrait, I feel this can sometimes become repetitive. Because the main theme of the project is ‘home’, I felt the objects that some of the people keep as reminders of home were very interesting and appropriate for inclusion in the project. I regard the images of details to be as much a portrait as any of the images with people in them.

The hand woven textures were an ever present over the project, appearing in nearly every home either as cushions, dresses or wall decorations. They are regional in their design and speak specifically about certain regions, so they exist almost as a form of visual communication in this regard.

The longer you look at these designs you can almost feel the hands that created them and I started to wonder if this is why they are retained by so many of the people I was photographing. Apart from being beautiful, was this a way to physically touch their homeland? Their bothers and sisters? Their past?

I know that photographically they are very graphic but by including them I am personally moving into new territory. I really think they fit well into the project but I will be interested to hear from others, a lot more qualified than me, to see if they concur.

This is all still a learning curve, in regards to editing a project, selecting the images to be shown and deciding what doesn’t make the final edit. These are early days for me and I won’t get it right every time but I am open and keen to listen to constructive feedback and I will take that on board for the next project.

 

Anita, Jerusalem © Jim Yorkston 2014 all rights reserved.

Anita, Jerusalem © Jim Yorkston 2014 all rights reserved.

 

DS – How did you meet and find your subjects?

JY – I made initial contact through the Scottish Friends of Palestine group and from there once I had met the first person and explained who I was and what I hoped to achieve, each person seemed to lead to the next. Attending Palestinian cultural events and meetings also helped make further contacts, and these in turn, helped me understand the subject of Palestine further.

I must say that, the people I have been introduced to throughout this project have been, amongst the most welcoming and hospitable people I have had the pleasure to meet and I am very grateful for their understanding and eagerness to help me make this work.

Ghazi Safad © Jim Yorkston 2014 all rights reserved.

Ghazi Safad © Jim Yorkston 2014 all rights reserved.

 

 

Hadeel #2 © Jim Yorkston 2014 all rights reserved.

Hadeel #2 © Jim Yorkston 2014 all rights reserved.

 

DS – Congratulations on being shortlisted for the Jill Todd – tell us about that experience.

JY – Being involved in the Jill Todd Award has been a great experience and the portfolio review with Tom Hunter was invaluable. It was very interesting to see the other entrants’ interpretation of the central theme of the award and the experience of being part of this can only serve to strengthen my practice going forward.

Although the creation of this award has been brought about through what are tragic circumstances, it exists and continues to grow as a fitting tribute. I think the people behind the award should be proud of what they have achieved and I would encourage every graduate to support it and get involved.

 

Hala, Ramallah © Jim Yorkston 2014 all rights reserved.

Hala, Ramallah © Jim Yorkston 2014 all rights reserved.

 

DS – what else are you working on, what’s next?

JY – Since graduating I have been assisting David Eustace, in my opinion, one of the finest photographers around. Whilst studying I always held David’s photography in the highest regard, so to have the opportunity to continue to learn from him is very rewarding.

The Jill Todd Award is once again open for entrants and I have a few ideas I am considering as potential subjects this time so that is quite exciting. As for new projects, if you look at my website, I seem to have been photographing older men in pubs since I got into photography so maybe its time for a new direction, maybe I will start work on a set of still life’s or even better, a set of ‘fine art’ nudes…

Tasnim & Yasmina, Jenin © Jim Yorkston 2014 all rights reserved.

Tasnim & Yasmina, Jenin © Jim Yorkston 2014 all rights reserved.

 

Thanks for sending us the work Jim and for answering our questions. Good luck with the exhibition.

 

JimYorkston2

Jim Yorkston at the opening of the exhibition at The Filmhouse, 11th May 2014
© Sophie Gerrard 2014 all rights reserved.

 

JimYorkston

Jim Yorkston at the opening of the exhibition at The Filmhouse, 11th May 2014
© Sophie Gerrard 2014 all rights reserved.

 

 

‘Haneen lil watten’ is exhibited at The Filmhouse Cafe, Lothian Road, Edinburgh  and will be shown as part of the Middle Eastern Film Festival 2014, from the 11th-27th of May.

To see more of Jim’s work see his website www.jimyorkston.com

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Face to Face: The Photographers

So folks, we are now very excited to confirm the following details about the work being presented at our event Face To Face: The Portrait In Photography Today at The Scottish National Portrait Gallery on the 14th May 2014.

Colin McPherson will present a short multimedia entitled ‘In the Company of Strangers’ in which he will explore the relationship between the photographer and the subject involved in making portraits. The photographs will reflect encounters Colin has had with people he had previously never met, and examine what happened next.

SNPG_McPherson

Jehovah’s Witnesses, Coldstream, 2014, from the series ‘In the Company of Strangers’
Photograph © Colin McPherson 2014, all rights reserved.

 

Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert will present work from his project ‘Satra, the Roma of Sintesti’ which spanned 17 years. Through repeated visits to the Roma camp in Romania, relationships were built, friendships formed and a portrait of a camp captured in both black-and-white and colour, charting the changes in the lives of the people.

SNPG_SuttonHibbert

Mia, a young Roma girl. From the series ‘Satra, the Roma of Sintesti’
Photograph © Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2014 all rights reserved.

 

Sophie Gerrard will present portraits from her personal and on-going series ‘Homecoming‘, a project focused on the experience of turning the camera towards the places, people and communities which evoke a particular sense of home. Shot all over Scotland, Sophie will talk about the notion of returning home, and share her experience of photographing those people and places which can feel simultaneously familiar and unknown.

SNPG_Gerrard3

Boys at the skate park. From the series ‘Homecoming’
Photograph © Sophie Gerrard 2014 all rights reserved.

 

‘American Always, Scottish Forever’, is a series of portraits Stephen McLaren has been making of Americans with Scottish ancestry who retain close affinity with the ‘Old Country’. Stephen discovered the subjects at the many Scottish Festivals and Highland Games that take place throughout California and even through they may never set foot in Scotland, all revel in having a Scottish identity to call their own.

SNPG_McLaren

Jonathan McGregor, Piper, Ventura Highland Games, California, 2012 from the series ‘American Always, Scottish Forever’.
Photograph © Stephen McLaren 2014 all rights reserved.

 

We are very pleased to be joined on the evening by a selection of guest photographers who will be showing the following work…

Emily Macinnes will be showing her current, long-term project ‘Paradise Lost: Testimonies of Abuse‘ documenting male survivors of childhood, sexual abuse. Emily will show images from the portrait series and discuss how she approached this sensitive subject matter.

SNPG_Macinnes

From the series ‘Paradise Lost: Testimonies of Abuse’
Photograph © Emily Macinnes 2014, all rights reserved.

Emily Macinnes (b. 1989) is a Scottish-born photographer currently based in Edinburgh.  Since graduating from Nottingham Trent University in 2012 she has been working as a freelance documentary photographer and multimedia storyteller working with international NGO’s as well as more intimate stories of struggles faced closer to home.  What unites her work is a common interest in peoples’ stories and a desire to creatively communicate the individual and emotional aspect of the issues she documents.

 

The multimedia presentation of Graham MacIndoe‘s  self portrait series ‘My Addiction, Through My Eyes’ will show a selection of images from a much larger body of work. Although often harrowing, the images show the quietness and isolation that often comes with the obsessive nature of addiction when the partying days have long been left behind. Without glamorization or being sensationalist there is an awareness of pain and a quality of introspection rarely seen with this subject matter.

SNPG_MacIndoe

Self portrait from the series ‘My Addiction, Through My Eyes’..
Photograph © Graham MacIndoe 2014 all rights reserved.

Graham MacIndoe studied painting at Edinburgh College of Art and went on to earn his master’s degree in photography at the Royal College of Art in London. He has lived in New York City since 1991 where he has been a part time  professor at Parsons The New School since 2011. He is having his first book published by LittleBigMan Books in June 2014 and is the recipient of a 2014 Alicia Patterson Fellowship. His work is in many public and private collections including Scotland’s National Portrait Gallery, the British Museum of Film and Television, the V&A Museum in London and the British Council. Graham is represented by Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles.

 

Arpita Shah will be presenting a short narrated slideshow entitled ‘Myth and The Asian Diaspora’. She will be discussing the relationship between mythology and portraiture in her work and how she uses it to explore the experience of Diaspora for Asians living in Scotland.

SNPG_Shah

From the series ‘Myth and The Asian Diaspora’.
Photograph © Arpita Shah 2014, all rights reserved.

Arpita Shah is an India-born visual artist and is based in Scotland. With a background in photography and film, she predominantly works in these two mediums exploring themes around culture and identity. Her work tends to draw from Asian and Eastern mythology, using it both visually and conceptually to explore the issues of cultural displacement in the Asian Diaspora. Arpita has exhibited internationally and has been involved in several artist residencies and community arts project around Scotland, which include residencies at Street Level Photoworks, Ankur Arts and The Albert Drive Project.

 

Ben Roberts will be showing work from his series ‘Higher Lands’, photographed in 2007-08. The photographs, documenting adolescents growing up in the Highlands of Scotland, still resonate with people 7 years after they were taken. Exploring themes of love and insecurity, Ben will discuss why photographs of teenagers are so compelling, and how he is striving to make similar images in his current personal work.

SNPG_Roberts

From the series ‘Love, Desire and Insecurity – Portraits of Adolescence’
Photograph © Ben Roberts 2014, all rights reserved.

Ben Roberts is a portrait and documentary photographer based in Madrid. He is a contributor to the FT Weekend Magazine and Monocle amongst other publications. His personal projects are diverse, ranging from observing the effects of the economic crisis on the landscapes of Spain, through to young people growing up in the Highlands of Scotland.

 

We look forward to seeing you there on the night.

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