Our new Digital Magazine – Doc006

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‘DOC006 – The Ties That Bind’ is our new digital magazine. Released to coincide with our exhibition of the same name at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, from 26th Sept- 24th April 2016.

Created in collaboration with acclaimed digital masterminds Start Digital, who we enjoyed working with on our first Digital Magazine, ‘The Ties That Bind’ is an easy to download digital catalogue showcasing four projects, from the four members of Document Scotland.

Download this digital exhibition catalogue now from the Apple Store or from Google Play

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Each of the four projects Unsullied and Untarnished by Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert, When Saturday Comes, by Colin McPherson Drawn to The Land by Sophie Gerrard and A Sweet Forgetting, by Stephen McLaren are those featured in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery exhibition, which has been curated by Anne Lyden.  Here in the app they appear with new and unseen images accompanied by text, audio and multimedia photofilms.

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We’ve been delighted to work again with the team at Start Digital. They created our first digital app for us, and since then we’ve really appreciated the versatility and impact of this digital platform. The layouts are clear and present Document Scotland’s images in a gallery layout. The audio and multimedia adds depth to projects elevating them above the simple layout of the ‘magazine page’ and into a multi dimensional experience. Interactive maps and evocative audio recordings add further complement the projects.

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We hope that you will download and enjoy this exciting new digital publication –

This digital exhibition catalogue ‘Document Scotland: The Ties That Bind’ is available for download for Android and iOS devices from Google Play and the App Store.

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Develop North!

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Sophie Gerrard and Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert will be taking part in the inaugural Develop North photo weekend in Aberdeen, on Saturday 3rd October. Sophie and Jeremy will present work from Document Scotland, and hold some free portfolio reviews. More information is below, and we look forward to seeing you there.

 

Gray’s School of Art announces new photography festival

A celebrated line-up of photographers and industry professionals has been unveiled as part of a major new photography festival announced by Gray’s School of Art.

Develop North, a two-day event running over October 2 and 3 at the Robert Gordon University (RGU) campus, will feature a series of free workshops, talks, screenings and exhibitions which explore a range of critical and practical issues in contemporary photography from across Scotland and beyond. (registration is now open, book tickets here.)

Among the featured guests is Gray’s alumnus and Director of Metro Imaging in London Steve Macleod; photographer Jon Nicholson; ‘Goose Flesh Zine‘ creator Sarah Amy Fishlock; and ‘Document Scotland’ photographers Sophie Gerrard and Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert.

An Open Call Submission will also be held during the festival, which looks for entries to examine ‘The experience of the North’ and welcomes submissions from practitioners and enthusiasts from across the north of Scotland and beyond. A selection of work will be chosen to feature as part of an outdoor exhibition in Aberdeen City Centre with Friday, September 25 the closing date for entries.

Head of Gray’s School of Art, Professor Chris O’Neil, said: “We are delighted to announce Develop North as a major new festival for Aberdeen and are extremely excited to have such a great line-up for events to share with people.

“Photography is an art form that is accessible to many people and we hope that the events we have organised will offer something to all practitioners, whether they are keen amateurs or industry professionals.”
More information about the schedule of events, all of which are free and open to anyone, can be found at www.developnorth.com. In order to guarantee a place at one of the events, booking will open from 9am on Monday, September 14.

Keep up to date with the latest news about the festival on Twitter by following @DevelopNorth or on Facebook.

Develop North has been organised by Gray’s School of Art in partnership with Metro Imaging, Street Level Photo Works, Ilford Photo and Harman Technology Ltd.

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“The Ties That Bind” talks – 26th September

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Our exhibition at The Scottish National Portrait Gallery – “The Ties That Bind” opens soon. To accompany the opening of the exhibition, we will be presenting our work and talking about our projects at the Portrait Gallery, on Saturday 26th September from 2-3pm.

The event is free, and all 4 of us will be speaking – so if you would like to know more about the work and are in town then please come along – we’d love to see you. Please come early to guarantee your place.

We look forward to seeing you there,

Sophie, Colin, Jeremy and Stephen.

 

The Ties That Bind, an exhibition by Document Scotland and curated by the gallery’s international photography curator Anne Lyden, is on at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Queen Street, Edinburgh EH2 1JD from 26th September 2015 – 24th April 2016. Admission free, open daily 10am-5pm, Thursdays until 7pm (0131-624 6200, www.nationalgalleries.org)

 

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Cafe Royal Books

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We are delighted to announce that publisher Cafe Royal Books has produced a very special, limited edition box set of work by Document Scotland’s four photographers.

Timed to coincide with our exhibition entitled The Ties That Bind, which opens at the end of September at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh, the compendium of work comprises four photo-essays, each with their own distinctive flavour.

The editions were produced as individual publications, but the man behind Cafe Royal Books, publisher Craig Atkinson, has gone the extra mile by bringing the four into one and presenting them in a slim, but stylish box.

The four stories featured are:

North Sea Fishing (Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert)

Aboard the seine netter Argosy. Photograph © Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert, 1995, all rights reserved.

Aboard the seine netter Argosy. Photograph © Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 1995, all rights reserved.

 

Dookits (Stephen McLaren)

A solitary dookit. Photograph © Stephen McLaren, 2015, all rights reserved.

A solitary dookit. Photograph © Stephen McLaren 2014, all rights reserved.

 

Tunnock’s (Sophie Gerrard)

Mr Boyd Tunnock. Photograph © Sophie Gerrard 2013, all rights reserved.

Mr Boyd Tunnock. Photograph © Sophie Gerrard 2013, all rights reserved.

 

Sancta Maria Abbey, Nunraw (Colin McPherson)

Monks at dawn prayers in the chapel at Sancta Maria Abbey at Nunraw. Photograph © Colin McPherson, 1996 all rights reserved.

Monks at dawn prayers in the chapel at Sancta Maria Abbey at Nunraw. Photograph © Colin McPherson 1996 all rights reserved.

 

Each edition will be available to purchase through Cafe Royal Books website and at the SNPG at the launch of our show. The box set – limited to an edition of 50 – is also available directly from the publisher. Grab one quick before they are all snapped up!

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From The Ashes

UK - Glasgow - Sculptor Andy Scott

Sculptor Andy Scott © Colin McPherson all rights reserved

 

Late in 2014, I had the good fortune to meet and photograph an artist whose reputation is becoming as big as the work he is making.

Andy Scott, the sculptor who created the magnificent Kelpies which dominate the landscape near Falkirk, is also responsible for a number of other public commissions which are dotted around central Scotland. When I first visited his studio, a cavernous shed in a Maryhill industrial estate, he was working on his latest creation, a commemorative statue to all those who had lost their lives in the service of the Scottish steel industry.

My personal involvement in this story was relevant and timely: I had just finished a body of work about the iconic Ravenscraig hot strip mill, which had dominated Scotland’s industrial landcsape from its construction in the late 1950s until its premature and controversial closure in 1992. I had revisited the site of the former steel mill to discover what had become of the place and people who had worked there. The project, entitled The Fall and Rise of Ravenscraig was exhibited as part of Document Scotland’s Common Ground show at Street Level Photoworks in Glasgow in 2014.

With almost symbiotic timing, Andy was designing his statue, the making of which I documented through the following winter and spring. Steel Man was unveiled at a moving ceremony in June 2015 on a small patch of land which once housed part of the gigantic Ravenscraig steel mill.

It is a fitting commemoration to those who gave so much in the service of Scotland and a wonderful and iconic piece of contemporary art.

Sculptor Andy Scott in his office. Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2014 all rights reserved.

Sculptor Andy Scott in his office. Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2014 all rights reserved.

 

Andy Scott in his studio. Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2014 all rights reserved. Scottish sculptor Andy Scott, working on his latest piece of public art, a memorial statue to men who lost their lives in the Scottish steel industry, at his workshop in Maryhill, Glasgow. Scott was best known for his twin horse sculptures entitled the Kelpies, which are located on the Forth and Clyde canal at Falkirk in central Scotland. The memorial to the steel men had a proposed completion date of spring 2015 and will be sited at Ravenscraig in Lanarkshire, on the site of Europe's largest former hot strip mill, which closed in 1992.

Andy Scott in his studio. Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2014 all rights reserved.

Scottish sculptor Andy Scott, working on his latest piece of public art, a memorial statue to men who lost their lives in the Scottish steel industry, at his workshop in Maryhill, Glasgow. Scott was best known for his twin horse sculptures entitled the Kelpies, which are located on the Forth and Clyde canal at Falkirk in central Scotland. The memorial to the steel men had a proposed completion date of spring 2015 and will be sited at Ravenscraig in Lanarkshire, on the site of Europe’s largest former hot strip mill, which closed in 1992.

 

A detail on Andy Scott's 'Steel Man sculpture. Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2014 all rights reserved.

A detail on Andy Scott’s ‘Steel Man sculpture. Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2014 all rights reserved.

 

Andy Scott working on 'Steel Man' in his studio. A detail on Andy Scott's 'Steel Man sculpture. Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2014 all rights reserved.

Andy Scott working on ‘Steel Man’ in his studio. A detail on Andy Scott’s ‘Steel Man sculpture. Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2014 all rights reserved.

 

Andy Scott working on 'Steel Man' in his Glasgow studio. Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2014 all rights reserved.

Andy Scott working on ‘Steel Man’ in his Glasgow studio. Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2014 all rights reserved.

 

A detail on Andy Scott's 'Steel Man sculpture. Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2014 all rights reserved.

A detail on Andy Scott’s ‘Steel Man sculpture. Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2014 all rights reserved.

 

Portrait of the artist, Andy Scott. Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2014 all rights reserved.

Portrait of the artist, Andy Scott. Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2014 all rights reserved.

 

View across Ravenscraig, the location for the 'Steel Man' sculpture. Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2014 all rights reserved.

View across Ravenscraig, the location for the ‘Steel Man’ sculpture. Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2014 all rights reserved.

 

A workman preparing the site for the official unveiling of Steel Man, Ravenscraig. A detail on Andy Scott's 'Steel Man sculpture. Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2015 all rights reserved.

A workman preparing the site for the official unveiling of Steel Man, Ravenscraig. A detail on Andy Scott’s ‘Steel Man sculpture. Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2015 all rights reserved.

 

Former steelworkers at the official unveiling of 'Steel Man'. Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2015 all rights reserved.

Former steelworkers at the official unveiling of ‘Steel Man’. Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2015 all rights reserved.

 

Andy Scott pictured at the official unveiling of 'Steel Man'. Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2015 all rights reserved.

Andy Scott pictured at the official unveiling of ‘Steel Man’. Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2015 all rights reserved.

 

'Steel Man', the commemorative sculpture by Scottish artist Andy Scott, at Ravenscraig. Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2015 all rights reserved.

‘Steel Man’, the commemorative sculpture by Scottish artist Andy Scott, at Ravenscraig. Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2015 all rights reserved.

 

The story of Andy Scott's 'Steel Man', featured in the Independent.

The story of Andy Scott’s ‘Steel Man’, featured in the Independent.

 

 

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The Ties That Bind

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We are less than a month away from the launch of our forthcoming exhibition at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh, which opens on 26th September 2015.

Curated by the gallery’s Curator of International Photography, Anne Lyden, The Ties That Bind brings together Document Scotland’s four photographers who each present projects which have been inspired by the period of intense debate and self-examination among Scots, in the run-up to, and aftermath of the Referendum in September 2014. Each photographer – Stephen McLaren, Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert, Colin McPherson and, Sophie Gerrard – has created a body of work which considers a different strand of Scotland’s culture and heritage, and in the process explores very timely questions of personal and national identity.

 

For The Ties That Bind, McLaren, Sutton-Hibbert, McPherson and Gerrard have created four groups of work that consider legacy —Scotland’s role in the slave trade and sugar plantations of Jamaica in the 18th century; tradition —the centuries-old celebration of Border towns in the Common Ridings festivals; engagement —the devotion and commitment from football supporters in small towns and communities across the country; and the land itself —focusing on contemporary farming through the experiences of six women.

Rozelle, Jamaica. Photograph © Stephen McLaren, 2015 all rights reserved.

Rozelle, Jamaica. Photograph © Stephen McLaren, 2015 all rights reserved.

 

A Sweet Forgetting, Stephen McLaren’s project, revolves around the involvement of Scots in the sugar economy of Jamaica in the 18th and 19th centuries, which was built on the back of slave labour from Africa. McLaren spent a month in Jamaica looking for the sites of plantations owned by seven Scots men of that era, before coming back to Scotland to trace how these men spent their wealth, and what is left of this legacy today. McLaren’s photographs largely concentrate on the mansions and estates purchased with funds from the slave trade. One of the plantation owners McLaren studied was the politician and poet Robert Cunninghame Graham (1735-1797), who owned several estates in Scotland as well as a Jamaican plantation at Roaring River and made his fortune from slave plantations. A Sweet Forgetting suggests that Scotland has perhaps largely forgotten how much of its economy was dependent on slave labour in Jamaica. McLaren’s subtle, but provocative work considers Scotland’s past and how it shapes the present, as well as how we choose to remember the past.

Common Riding, Selkirk. Photograph © Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert, 2013 all righted reserved.

Common Riding, Selkirk. Photograph © Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert, 2013 all righted reserved.

 

For Unsullied and Untarnished, Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert focused on the Scottish Borders area and its traditional summer festivals, known as the Common Ridings. During the Common Ridings, riders chosen as representatives of their communities symbolically survey the boundaries of the town’s and burgh’s common lands. Participating in the yearly ritual is considered an honour for the local youths; the Common Ridings are an opportunity to represent their community by carrying the standard around the neighbouring borders of the common land, before bringing it back “unsullied and untarnished”. During the festivals, “exiles” return home to partake in events and greetings are often sent by those unable to make the journey, while bonds are re-established with neighbouring towns. Intrigued by the history of the festivals Sutton-Hibbert visited various towns, including Hawick, Selkirk and Jedburgh among others and made portraits of the riders and other participants in traditional outfits. By looking at how the history and sense of community is kept alive, Sutton-Hibbert explores traditions and their legacy in modern society.

'The Cowshed, Greenock Morton. Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2015 all rights reserved.

The Cowshed, Greenock Morton. Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2015 all rights reserved.

 

Colin McPherson’s contribution to The Ties That Bind is entitled When Saturday Comes, after the eponymous football magazine which has commissioned McPherson over the last 10 years to photograph football culture both in Scotland and further afield. An ardent football fan himself, McPherson has used the opportunity to explore the game at all levels, although for this exhibition he has focused on lower-league football and the rituals associated with the sport; his photographs explore the sense of belonging and commitment shown by supporters, players and those charged with running clubs – from Berwick Rangers to Fraserburgh. For a lot of people football is an experience first encountered at the community level of village youth clubs and small town teams. As a weekend ritual it draws people together on the stands or grassy verges in all weather and seasons to celebrate or commiserate over the game at hand. This sense of engagement and loyalty is one that is echoed around the land every Saturday.

Sarah, Isle of Eigg. Photograph © Sophie Gerrard, 2015 all rights reserved.

Sarah, Isle of Eigg. Photograph © Sophie Gerrard, 2015 all rights reserved.

 

The fourth project in The Ties That Bind, Drawn to the Land, is Sophie Gerrard’s ongoing exploration of women in the contemporary Scottish landscape. Gerrard’s photographs offer a glimpse into the lives of six women farmers in a variety of Scottish settings (Argyll, Perthshire, the Scottish Borders, the Isle of Eigg and the Isle of Mull), and how they shape, and are shaped by, their surroundings. Working as hill farmers with responsibility for remote and diverse parts of the land, these women identify as custodians rather than as landowners, and often talk of being drawn to the hill. For Drawn to the Land, Gerrard set out to understand her own connection with the Scottish landscape, which is often seen as a symbol of national identity and nostalgia. To explore the topic she chose to focus on female farmers, often under-represented in the UK despite the number of women in farming increasing significantly in recent years. Through each of these women’s compelling stories, Drawn to the Land presents an emotional response to this country’s rugged mountains and remote lochs and islands and a wider story of Scotland’s national identity.

 

While the work touches on the political landscape around the Referendum, the images do not affirm any one position, but seek to portray a multiplicity of views that portray the complex challenges and subtle nuances surrounding the larger debate. Together these images create a compelling dialogue about Scotland, its people, diversity and culture, and reveal the subtle nuances that shape a nation’s identity.

 

Christopher Baker, Director of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, said: “Document Scotland has impressively addressed through The Ties That Bind some key themes about belonging and history, the resonance of Scottish heritage and diversity of community life across the country today. Their work demonstrates the outstanding quality of contemporary documentary photography and its ability to provoke us to think about issues of individual and collective identity.”

 

Document Scotland: The Ties That Bind is part of the IPS (Institute for Photography in Scotland) 2015 Season of Photography, a series of exhibitions and events taking place across Scotland from April to September 2015. The exhibition will run until 24th April, 2016. Admission is free.

 

Document Scotland would like to acknowledge and thank Creative Scotland and the University of St. Andrews Library’s Special Collection for supporting the making of the work for The Ties That Bind.

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