April Salon Event – Skye!

To mark the end of our exhibition at The Scottish National Portrait Gallery, The Ties That Bind – we are off on the road again to present our work and work by photographers we admire to new audiences in Scotland. April 27th will see us in Skye – at the wonderful ATLAS Arts – if you’re nearby please do come along and join us.

The event is free – as ever – and all are welcome – see more information here

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See ATLAS Arts website at www.atlasarts.org.uk

Thank you to Creative Scotland and The University of St Andrews Special Collections for funding this Document Scotland Salon event.

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Sophie on BBC Landward and BBC Radio Scotland

This month Document Scotland’s exhibition ‘The Ties That Bind’  at The Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh has been featured on BBC TV and Radio. Sophie was filmed talking about her long term project about women, farming and the landscape, ‘Drawn To The Land’ on BBC1’s Landward and was interviewed for Radio Scotland’s Out of Doors program. Watch and listen again here…. !

 

BBC Landward

Sophie spent a very wet and windy couple of days filming with the wonderful Sybil MacPherson, a hillfarmer in Argyll with the crew from BBC Landward. You can see the film here, with Sophie talking about her work with the presenter Sarah Mack from about 22:00 minutes in.

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Watch the episode of BBC Landward on BBC iPlayer now.

“I’m delighted that Landward were interested in my project, after long discussions with the producer, Clare who had visited the exhibition and was curious about the work, we arranged a couple of days in November when we could meet with Sybil and do some filming on her remote and beautiful hillfarm near Dalmally. Sybil’s story and her relationship with the land she works and farms is fascinating. The 5 munros which make up her farm have been farmed by her family for over 175 year. There are ruins on the hill where her grandfather went to school. It’s a place full of history and full of connection which is why I thought it would be great to hear more from Sybil and introduce her to the Landward team. The fact that it turned out to be the wettest day I’ve seen in Argyll for some time wasn’t ideal – that it doesn’t even look that bad on tv is annoying!”

 

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BBC Landward presenter Sarah Mack with hill farmer Sybil MacPherson, Dalmally, Argyll © Sophie Gerrard 2015 all rights reserved.

“Having never done any TV before I was struck by how long everything took – there was quite a lot of back and forth, re-shooting, “say that again”, “drive over that bridge again and again”. So I’m hugely grateful to Sybil for taking time out of her busy week to allow this piece to be filmed. It was interesting seeing how it all worked, piecing together the parts of the interview and also seeing how they would include my photographs in the piece.”

 

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Colin, the BBC Landward camera man, films Sybil as she packs and rolls fleeces on her hill farm near Dalmally. © Sophie Gerrard 2015 all rights reserved.

“I hope what the filming does is introduce the project and my reasons behind shooting it. Women are under represented in farming. Commonly referred to as ‘farmers’ wives’ and seen as having a behind the scenes role. Sybil and the other women in my project are front and centre, they make life and death decisions every day. They are engineers, midwives, business women, decision makers and forward thinkers. The common sense of responsibility for the work they do, and to the landscape and the livestock is something that all the women in my project share. All of them talk as custodians, of having a sense that they are looking after this land for future generations. I have a huge respect for them and the work they do. It’s been a privilege and an honour to work with them and I look forward to continuing the project.”

Sophie Gerrard

 

 

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Clare, Colin and Sarah, the BBC Landward crew with Sybil, Dalmally November 2015 © Sophie Gerrard all rights reserved.

 

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Sophie with Sybil and the crew. Dalmally November 2015

BBC Out Of Doors

Sophie met with journalist Claire White of BBC Radio Scotland at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery to talk some more about her experience of photographing the 6 women included in the project over the last 2 and a half years. You can listen to this interview here, Sophie and Claire discus ‘Drawn To The Land’ from about 7:38 minutes in.

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Listen to the episode of BBC Scotland ‘Out of Doors’ on BBC Radio iPlayer now.

 

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Claire White from BBC Radio Scotland interviewing Sophie at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery

“I really enjoyed talking to Claire from Out of Doors about my work. Claire and I spent a really short time in the gallery talking about the work. I’ve done a little bit of radio before, and I’ve interviewed people many time using voice recorders – this just felt a much more comfortable way of talking to the media about my work.

Claire asked some really interesting questions, and picked up on some important aspects of the work. It’s always interesting meeting people who are interested in my work, and who then spot things in the work, or pick up on visual clues within images. Claire certainly did that, and in the interview you can hear her reading the clusters of images on the wall and getting an impression of the women I’ve photographed.

I was grateful for the time she took, and the interest in the project. I hope this reaches an audience who might want to come and see the work at the Portrait Gallery or look at it on my website, and take a little time to get know these women and their stories.

Thank you Claire and your team for the feature.”

 

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Sophie with Claire White from BBC Scotland Out Of Doors, at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

 

Thank you BBC1 and BBC Radio Scotland for featuring Drawn To The Land, both programs are available on iPlayer.

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The Glasgow Renaissance

Chris Leslie is a documentary photographer and film-maker based in Glasgow. We were very pleased to feature his work at our Document Scotland Summer Salon event in August last year.

For 3 years now, Chris has been working on a long term photography and multimedia project, The Glasgow Renaissance, documenting the city of Glasgow as it undergoes a widescale regeneration project.

Currently looking for funding to support his latest piece from the project – a film called Lights Out, Chris took some time to talk to us about his dedication and commitment to the subject.

CL – This is a trailer for Lights Out – it is a film about my favourite brutalist but beautiful high rise flats in Glasgow. Both blocks are now completely empty of residents and completely sealed.

 

DS – This is a component piece of The Glasgow Renaissance project which you’ve been working on for 3 years now –  how did the whole project come about in the first place?

CL – The Glasgow Renaissance is a follow on for my multimedia Masters project at LCC that I completed and got a distinction for in 2010. For this I documented 4 stories on regeneration in Glasgow, from an eviction of Margaret Jaconelli in Dalmarnock to the death of Paddy’s Market, as well as the demolition of the High rise flats in Sighthill. I then got a few commissions around the Red Road Flats, which had an arts and culture project running alongside the first stage of demolition, but for the most part I documented other condemned high rise flats from my own time and expense. It wasn’t a project I had in my mind from start to finish, it just kind of evolved this way and then I started to work around the title and theme of the Glasgow Renaissance.

Bluevale Flats, Glasgow © Chris Leslie 2013 all rights reserved

Bluevale Flats, Glasgow © Chris Leslie 2013 all rights reserved

 

Red Road Flats, Glasgow pre demolition © Chris Leslie 2012 all rights reserved

Red Road Flats, Glasgow pre demolition © Chris Leslie 2012 all rights reserved

 

DS – Why did you title it The Glasgow Renaissance? Was that a term you knew of or something you created?

CL – The title of the project came from a quote from Glasgow City Council, the leader at the time, Stephen Purcell, when the city launched their plan of the mass demolition of a series of high rise flats across the city. He spoke of a ‘change in Glasgow’s Skyline’ and that Glasgow was undergoing ‘a real renaissance’. And importantly that they would not ‘repeat the same mistakes of the past’ when it came to housing. For myself and most Glaswegians we all want a Renaissance, and in particular in the east end of the city there is a desperate need.  But its important to me that you question everything that is proposed in regeneration and that for some, regeneration and a renaissance can have a negative impact on their lives.