Review of ‘Seeing Ourselves’

Document Scotland were delighted to be interviewed by The Dundee Courier about the exhibition ‘Seeing Ourselves’. Stephen spoke with Jennifer McLaren and explained a little about what brought us together, our aims and our passions and how we curated the exhibition.

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Inside HMP Low Moss….Jenny Wicks

 

(c) Jenny Wicks, 2013, All Rights Reserved

The residency I undertook last year was an incredible experience. I gained unprecedented access to three Scottish Prisons, one of which hadn’t yet opened for ‘business’. To explore a world that is shrouded in mystery and suffers from an excess of representation and to make new work in and around these spaces was, without a doubt a privilege.

The conceptual frame for the project focused on the ways criminological researchers relate to the spaces where research is conducted, analysed and disseminated. A central premise is that working in particular spaces simultaneously contributes to their meaning as places of punishment. As the residency progressed I discovered striking juxtapositions of the mundane and the spectacular in the work of criminology. Suicide watch cells, the back of a prisoner transport van, a storage room holding physical restraint chairs and Zimmer frames mark sites of extreme human experience and yet at the same time are part of someone’s day at the office: a site where data is collected, transferred to spreadsheets and displayed to audiences in lecture theatres and conference halls.

The tree and chair is an image that I find very striking. As I waked through the hall ways of HMP Low Moss, with its modern, clean design, empty spaces and static energy I was struck by the conflicting messages; the fact that soon these walls would be occupied by men who’s lives were less than ordered, where chaos was central and the contrast between the space and the lives it would soon house was huge.

The massive tree taking centre stage in the hall as a way to almost humanise the clinical space dwarfing the chair, which was still in it’s protective plastic wrapping ready to be unveiled. I wondered if the architects or designers really understood what the space was being used for or if they had a generic footprint they used for all their government or council run projects; did new build schools, health centres, hospitals also have unnecessarily massive trees inside their halls?

I’d be very interested in revisiting the site to see what human marks have been left.

 

Jennys’ photograph, and others from her series, “Working Spaces Punishing Spaces”, can be seen at Fotospace Gallery, Rothes Halls, Glenrothes, as part of the “Seeing Ourselves” exhibition, which is curated by Document Scotland. The exhibition continues until August 1st 2013.

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‘Seeing Ourselves’ newspaper

Document Scotland are delighted to announce that to coincide with our first collaborative group exhibition, ‘Seeing Ourselves’, we’ve published a newspaper showcasing the fine documentary photography work from the show. A certain amount of the papers will be available for free at the gallery and exhibition, to thank you for making the effort to come along and see the show, but for those of you unable to travel to Fife for the show, the paper can be bought via this page for a nominal fee.

Document Scotland’s ‘DOC002, Seeing Ourselves’ newspaper.

 

The work on show, and in the newspaper, will feature photography by the four founding members of Document Scotland (Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert, Colin McPherson, Stephen McLaren and Sophie Gerrard), along with work by six contemporary photographers working in Scotland – Radek Nowacki, Jenny Wicks, Martin Hunter, Giulietta Verdon-Roe, Sarah Amy Fishlock and Robert Ormerod.

 

Document Scotland’s ‘DOC002, Seeing Ourselves’ newspaper.

 

Document Scotland’s ‘DOC002, Seeing Ourselves’ newspaper.

 

‘Seeing Ourselves’ aims to hold a mirror up to life in Scotland today and reflect some of the social, political, environmental and economic issues facing the country at this pivotal time in our shared history.

 

Document Scotland’s ‘DOC002, Seeing Ourselves’ newspaper.

 

Document Scotland’s ‘DOC002, Seeing Ourselves’ newspaper.

 

Document Scotland’s ‘DOC002, Seeing Ourselves’ newspaper.

Document Scotland’s ‘DOC002, Seeing Ourselves’ newspaper.

 

Document Scotland’s ‘DOC002, Seeing Ourselves’ newspaper.

 

The newspaper is printed in full colour, over 24 pages, and features a double page spread of images by each of the 10 photographers involved in the exhibition, there is also an editorial essay by Docment Scotland.

Document Scotland is a not for profit registered company, and all proceeds of the sale go back into financing this website, and helping fund furthers shows and publications. Many thanks for your interest and support, we greatly appreciate it.

‘Seeing Ourselves’ will open at FOTOSPACE Gallery, Fife on June 3 until July 30th, 2013. The show has been curated by Document Scotland, in association with Colin Cavers of the Fife Photo Group.


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‘Seeing Ourselves’- Press Release

PRESS RELEASE
No embargo

Document Scotland is proud and delighted to announce the date of our first collaborative group exhibition.

‘Seeing Ourselves’ will open at FOTOSPACE Gallery, Fife on June 3, 2013, and feature work by 10 leading Scottish photographers. The show has been curated by Document Scotland, in association with Colin Cavers of the Fife Photo Group.

The work on show will feature photography by the four founding members of Document Scotland (Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert, Colin McPherson, Stephen McLaren and Sophie Gerrard), along with work by six contemporary Scottish photographers (Radek Nowacki, Jenny Wicks, Martin Hunter, Giulietta Verdon-Roe, Sarah Amy Fishlock and Robert Ormerod) who have been invited to show images from projects either recently-completed or still in progress.

‘Seeing Ourselves’ aims to hold a mirror up to life in Scotland today and reflect some of the social, political, environmental and economic issues facing the country at this pivotal time in our shared history.

 

 

Drawn To The Land – Women working the Scottish Landscape © Sophie Gerrard 2013 all rights reserved.

 

Amongst the diverse selection of projects which will be shown are Sophie Gerrard’s compassionate depiction of the Scottish landscape through the eyes of women who manage it, Stephen McLaren’s sideways look at everyday life on the road, entitled ‘Scotia Nova’, Giulietta Verdon-Roe’s intimate study of a Home-Start charity project in Levenmouth and Robert Ormerod’s striking portraits of young people involved in present-day politics in Scotland.

Commenting on the exhibition, Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert said: “We are excited to be able to showcase projects not only by Document Scotland, but by a number of talented photographers whose work is becoming instrumental in shaping the direction of documentary photography in Scotland. We are delighted to be able to collaborate with FOTOSPACE Gallery to bring to the public’s attention this exciting new work.”

Speaking on behalf of FOTOSPACE Gallery, Colin Cavers said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for FOTOSPACE Gallery, in collaboration with Document Scotland and On at Fife Theatres and Arts, to be able to bring such a unique exhibition of Scottish documentary photography together, that will be of such interest and relevance to the current national and international debate around Scotland’s future.”

In addition to the exhibition, Document Scotland will produce a commemorative publication in the form of a newspaper which will serve to publicise the show and the work of the participating photographers.

For further information regarding ‘Seeing Ourselves’, please contact:
Colin McPherson, T: 07831 838717 E: colin@documentscotland.com
Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert, T:07831 138817 E: jeremy@documentscotland.com
Sophie Gerrard, T: 07810 445431 E: sophie@documentscotland.com

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Formed in 2012, Document Scotland is a collective of four Scottish documentary photographers brought together by a common vision to witness and photograph the important and diverse stories within Scotland at one of the most important times in our nation’s history. For more information, please visit www.documentscotland.com, or follow us on twitter @DocuScotland.
FOTOSPACE Fife is organised and run by the Fife Foto Group whose aims are to promote the exhibition of photography; to foster an engagement with photography and to encourage the enjoyment and practice of photography as a cultural, educational and leisure pursuit to the benefit of the community. More details can be found at http://www.fifefotospacegallery.org/

‘Seeing Ourselves’ – work by 10 contemporary Scottish photographers, curated by Document Scotland, on show at FOTOSPACE Gallery, Rothes Halls, Glenrothes, Fife KY7 5NX from June 3 until July 31, 2013. Opening times to the public Monday to Saturday, 10am – 5pm.

 

Forth and Clyde Canal. ©Martin Hunter 2013, all rights reserved.

 

 

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‘Seeing Ourselves’ exhibition

Document Scotland, in conjunction with FOTOSPACE Gallery, are very pleased to announce the ‘Seeing Ourselves, New Documentary Photography from Scotland’ photography exhibition, which will take place in June and July of this summer.

“With ‘Seeing Ourselves’ FOTOSPACE is proud to be showcasing the best in new Scottish documentary photography. Curated by the recently-formed Document Scotland collective, this exhibition brings together ten leading photographers working in Scotland right now. A dynamic and varied range of projects are presented all exemplifying the strength and depth of current photographic practice in the country. Beguiling images and strong sense of national story-telling make ‘Seeing Ourselves’ a photography exhibition that is both timely in its presentation and ambitious in its subject matter. See Scotland through the eyes of ten photographers with a unique vision.”

The photographers whose work will be on show are Document Scotland’s Sophie Gerrard, Stephen McLaren, Colin McPherson, and Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert, along with Jenny Wicks, Martin Hunter, Sarah Amy Fishlock, Giulietta Verdon-Roe, Radek Nowacki, and Robert Ormerod.

‘Seeing Ourselves’ will be on show at FOTOSPACE Gallery and FifeSpace Gallery, situated in Rothes Halls, Glenrothes, Fife, Scotland. The show will be open Monday-Saturday, 10am-5pm, and will be on from June 3rd- 31st July 2013.

 

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