Jo Spence

Photo Therapy, (1984-86) Jo Spence in collaboration with Rosy Martin Copyright the Estate of Jo Spence. Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery

Photo Therapy, (1984-86) Jo Spence in collaboration with Rosy Martin Copyright the Estate of Jo Spence. Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery

 

The work of Jo Spence, British photographer, educator and writer (1934 – 1992) is the focus for Stills Gallery’s summer exhibition. Curated by Ben Harman, the exhibition presents a powerful and important collection of Jo Spence’s work from her documentary work and collaborative projects to her self exploratory portraiture.

From Stills exhibition introduction:

‘Typically working in collaboration with individuals or groups, using the camera as a tool to empower herself and others, Jo Spence explored how photography can represent, frame and construct reality. She worked tirelessly to address issues such as class, family, sexuality, illness and death and made a hugely influential contribution to photographic practice and debates around the politics of representation.’

 

Children’s Educational Work , 1973-75 Jo Spence in collaboration with Terry Dennett Installation view at Stills, Edinburgh, 2016 Courtesy the Estate of Jo Spence and Richard Saltoun Gallery Photo © Alan Dimmick

Children’s Educational Work , 1973-75 Jo Spence in collaboration with Terry Dennett Installation view at Stills, Edinburgh, 2016 Courtesy the Estate of Jo Spence and Richard Saltoun Gallery Photo © Alan Dimmick

 

Children’s Educational Work , 1973-75 Jo Spence in collaboration with Terry Dennett Installation view at Stills, Edinburgh, 2016 Courtesy the Estate of Jo Spence and Richard Saltoun Gallery Photo © Alan Dimmick

Children’s Educational Work , 1973-75 Jo Spence in collaboration with Terry Dennett Installation view at Stills, Edinburgh, 2016 Courtesy the Estate of Jo Spence and Richard Saltoun Gallery Photo © Alan Dimmick

 

The exhibition is divided into three sections

  • Children’s Educational Work (1973-75) Documentary work from her long term collaboration with Terry Dennett including images from Children Photographed, Adventure Playgrounds and The Secret World of Children.
  • Self Portraits (1978-92) Jo’s challenging and powerful self exploratory images made in collaboration with others and including photographs about her breast cancer diagnosis.
  • The Polysnappers (1981) A rare collection of panels from the degree show work Family, Fantasy and Photography by the collaborative group formed when Jo Spence was a student.

 


Document Scotland were kindly given the opportunity to speak to Ben Harman Director of Stills Gallery and curator of this exhibition, Mary-Ann Kennedy lecturer at Edinburgh Napier University and a member of the Polysnappers who worked with Jo in the 1980s and Malcolm Dickson Director of Street level Photoworks who curated an exhibition of Jo’s work in Glasgow in 2005.

We asked Ben, Mary Ann and Malcolm about their experiences working with Jo, creating work collaboratively, curating exhibitions in Scotland and why her work is important, and ever relevant in 2016.

We hope you enjoy the images and interviews. Do catch the exhibition at Stills if you can, it’s on until 16th October 2016 and one not to miss this Festival.

 


 

Document Scotland: Ben, what attracted you to curate this exhibition of Jo Spence’s work at Stills Gallery in Scotland at this time?

Ben Harman: In my previous job as Curator of Contemporary Art for Glasgow Museums I was regularly in touch with Terry Dennett from the Jo Spence Memorial Archive in London and I included Jo’s work in several exhibitions at GoMA between 2004 and 2013. Glasgow Museums had acquired work from Jo in about 1990, towards the end of her life. As far as I’m aware, it was the first public collection in the UK to do so.

Jo has been represented in themed group exhibitions at Stills in the past but a solo show in Edinburgh seemed long overdue. The timing of our display is largely due to our interest in presenting her work during the Edinburgh Art Festival at a time of year when we typically receive our highest audience figures. During last year’s festival, our exhibition of work by kennardphillipps was incredibly well received and so for 2016 we wanted to offer something similarly concerned with how photography can alter and inform our experiences of the social and political issues of our time.

Jo Spence installation view at Stills, Edinburgh, 2016. Courtesy the Estate of Jo Spence and Richard Saltoun Gallery Photo © Alan Dimmick

Jo Spence installation view at Stills, Edinburgh, 2016. Courtesy the Estate of Jo Spence and Richard Saltoun Gallery Photo © Alan Dimmick

 

DS: Malcolm, in 2005, along with Terry Dennet of the Jo Spence Memorial Archive, you curated the exhibition ‘Jo Spence : Photographer – Works from the Archive’ at Street Level Photoworks in Glasgow. Can you tell us a little about that exhibition.

Malcolm Dickson: Jo was, of course, a pioneer in photographic practices but also a prolific writer, teacher and cultural worker across the board. What appealed to us was the inspiring combination of an oppositional stance with an exploratory and playful spirit. She also had a salient position in terms of the subject which is never talked about – Class! Jo believed that everyday life is the source of all meaningful art – photography is a tool that can be used by everyone in any situation for self-knowledge, personal growth and of course social critique.

The exhibition at Street Level covered three decades – some from her early high street studio work in the mid 70s; works from the mid-80s on self-image, class and health; and the ‘Final Project’ in the 90s, in which we presented 15 newly produced and framed prints which illustrated her allegorical approach in still lives.

A wall also contained wallpapered posters from collectives she helped establish – Photography Workshop, Half Moon, Camerawork, the Hackney Flashers and the Polysnappers. We also had available a number of copies of Photography Politics which she co-edited with Terry.

 

DS: Ben, why did you focus on the particular elements of Jo Spence’s work you’ve gathered together for this exhibition at Stills?

BH: We wanted to find a way of presenting work that Jo is well-known for as well as material that hasn’t been seen in Scotland before. In this way the exhibition might serve as a point of interest for those that are familiar with her work as well as an introductory overview for those that are not.

Past exhibitions in Scotland, such as at Street Level Photoworks, Glasgow in 2005, have covered much of the ‘Final Project’, her last series made in collaboration with Terry Dennett, so we are only exhibiting two works from that series.

The term ‘Self Portraits’ is a bit inadequate in relation to Jo’s work which was always in collaboration with others but we found this to be a useful umbrella title under which to show examples from a variety of her projects and collaborations from the late 1970s onwards. These are presented in our front gallery.

The photographs from Children’s Educational Work has been available as research material but is very rarely seen. I felt it was important for this to be on display as it provides a fascinating background to Jo’s later work and shows where she wanted to take photography at a time when she had become completely disillusioned with her commercial photography business.

The Polysnappers material is quite simply unique and has not been on public display on this scale since 1981. The group were formed at the Polytechnic of Central London, where Jo had enrolled as a mature student in 1979, and Family, Fantasy & Photography was their final degree show. At the core of this work is a concern with the politics of representation. For the inclusion of this work I have to thank Mary Ann Kennedy who was a member of The Polysnappers (along with Jo Spence, Charlotte Pembrey and Jane Munro) and is based in Edinburgh.

 

Family, Fantasy & Photography, (1981) by The Polysnappers Installation view at Stills, Edinburgh, 2016 Courtesy Mary Ann Kennedy, Jane Munro, Charlotte Pembrey and Jo Spence Photo © Alan Dimmick

Family, Fantasy & Photography, (1981) by The Polysnappers Installation view at Stills, Edinburgh, 2016 Courtesy Mary Ann Kennedy, Jane Munro, Charlotte Pembrey and Jo Spence Photo © Alan Dimmick

 

Family, Fantasy & Photography, (1981) by The Polysnappers. Installation view at Stills, Edinburgh, 2016. Courtesy Mary Ann Kennedy, Jane Munro, Charlotte Pembrey and Jo Spence Photo © Alan Dimmick.

Family, Fantasy & Photography, (1981) by The Polysnappers. Installation view at Stills, Edinburgh, 2016. Courtesy Mary Ann Kennedy, Jane Munro, Charlotte Pembrey and Jo Spence Photo © Alan Dimmick.

 

DS: Speaking of the Polysnappers, Mary Ann – in this exhibition at Stills we see a large (and rare) display of panels produced in 1981 by ‘The Polysnappers’ a group which you were a part of  – could you tell us a little about who they were and how/why they came about?

Mary-Ann Kennedy: I was a photography student at the then polytechnic of central London with a determination to work collaboratively whenever possible and a commitment to education and visual literacy. Charlotte, Jane and I had been working together when Jo joined the poly in our second year.  By the end of that year we formed the Polysnappers to address the politics of representation, visual literacy and the responsibilities of the image maker within an educational format – the travelling exhibition- that was accessible to a wide audience.

 

DS: What was the focus of your work as a group?

MAK: ‘Three Perspectives on Photography’ opened at the Hayward Gallery in 1979*, Community arts was beginning to embrace the use of photography, predominantly in its documentary format. Media education was interrogating film, TV and advertising but not the production and use of the photograph. We felt there was a space to visually work through the role photography plays in the formation of identities, in our understanding of the world and our place/position within it – and to make visible the personal as political.

Photography is a communicative tool, great for telling stories – as image makers we were concerned with the paucity of stories told, the voices silenced, and how photography too often colluded in those absences.

(* The Hayward Gallery’s first exhibition of photography described as “groundbreaking” by Gloria Chalmers in Portfolio Magazine)

 

DS: What was your experience of working collaboratively?

MAK: As with all collectives – we debated (argued!) but we found, acknowledged and worked to our individual strengths.  My memory may be of continual exhaustion but our depth of engagement and production level was only possible through collaboration.  We were able to push each other, network beyond our imagining as well well as learn new skills.  It was quite magic!

 

DS: What do you feel is the relevance and importance of showing this work in 2016?

MAK: The work was exhibited by the Cockpit Community arts project  for over 10 years but it has formed the basis of over 30 years teaching in higher education for me.  It may have been nostalgic for me to see it exhibited in a ‘retrospective’ –  I was rather concerned about how ‘dated’ it would look.  But it has been a salutary lesson in the response of, particularly, young women – the recognition that far too little has changed.  If the work is resonating with the current wave of feminism – a wider, more inclusive reflection on the role that photography plays in lived experience, then I’m indebted to Ben for showing it.

MD: The exhibition at Stills is a critical re-evaluation of Jo’s work and hones in on certain key material largely unseen since its original production – the collection from the Polysnappers for example; the original photographs from the studio portrait days and early days of Photography Workshop. It combines all the elements of Jo’s practice as a visual artist, activist, and educationalist very well and these elements are vital components in helping the public and younger artists to understand the inextricable link between them in a ‘practice’

 

Image credit: Various poster works, 1979 – 1995, Jo Spence. Courtesy Street Level Photoworks, Glasgow & Terry Dennett

Image credit: Various poster works, 1979 – 1995, Jo Spence. Courtesy Street Level Photoworks, Glasgow & Terry Dennett

 

DS: Ben, what was the reason to include only a small collection of Jo’s documentary work from the 1970’s in this current exhibition?

BH: It was important to have a representative balance of work in the exhibition so I didn’t want the content to be weighted too much in any one direction. However, Jo was extremely prolific and any one series or aspect of her work, such as this, could easily be drawn out for an exhibition in itself. There is also the practical reason that much of the documentary material from the 1970s is unframed and this has an affect on exhibition design and related costs.

I hope that each of the three sections of our exhibition offer enough of a taster to encourage visitors to go away and find out more about Jo’s work and ideas. A few comments have been made referring to our exhibition as a ‘retrospective’ which is flattering but far from the truth. Our presentation is really just the tip of the iceberg but the work must be seen!

In a note from Jo to Terry Dennett, discovered after her death in 1992, she quoted Woody Guthrie: “When I am gone don’t mourn – organise.”

 

Jo Spence, Adventure Playgrounds: Photographing housing communities and children’s playgrounds (1973-1975). Copyright the Estate of Jo Spence. Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery

Jo Spence, Adventure Playgrounds: Photographing housing communities and children’s playgrounds (1973-1975). Image © Copyright the Estate of Jo Spence. Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery

 

DS: What do you feel is the relevance and importance of showing Jo’s work in 2016. How is the show being received?

BH: We are 1 month into the exhibition and we are on track to have one of our busiest exhibitions on record. This is partly due to the enduring influence, importance and relevance of Jo’s work and ideas. The issues of class, illness, ageing, sexuality, family and gender politics that she addressed have not gone away. Her development of the Photo Therapy technique (with Rosy Martin) and her use of the camera as a tool to empower herself and others and to construct her own image seems to have anticipated contemporary trends.

MD: Although ten years apart, I think the recent show at Stills and the earlier one at Street Level have given substantial representation of Jo’s practice, and provided understanding of the convergence of political and artistic concerns that index community photography to all subsequent socially engaged practices in British Art.

I first met Jo in 1990 when she came to Glasgow and did a talk through the Free University of Glasgow that I was involved in at the time. She contributed an article around her book ‘Cultural Sniping’ to the relaunched Variant and her image was on the cover. The purchases made by Glasgow Museums of her work are very important in keeping her work circulating – Ben was an advocate of that in his previous role and it’s really satisfying to see that coming through in this excellent exhibition at Stills.

 

Jo Spence, Contact Sheet - Gypsies, Vintage Gelatin Silver Print, 1974 © Jo Spence & Terry Dennett image courtesy of Hyman Collection, London

Jo Spence, Contact Sheet – Gypsies, Vintage Gelatin Silver Print, 1974 Image © Copyright the Estate of Jo Spence. Courtesy Hyman Collection, London

 

Jo Spence, Contact Sheet - Gypsies, Vintage Gelatin Silver Print, 1974 © Jo Spence & Terry Dennett image courtesy of Hyman Collection, London

Jo Spence, Contact Sheet – Gypsies, Vintage Gelatin Silver Print, 1974 Image © Copyright the Estate of Jo Spence. Courtesy Hyman Collection, London

 

 

 

Many thanks to Malcolm, Ben and Mary Ann for speaking with us. Generous thanks also to Terry Dennett, The Jo Spence Memorial Archive & The Hyman Collection.

The Jo Spence exhibition is on at Stills Gallery, Cockburn Street, Edinburgh until 16th October 2016.

Further Resources:

 

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Common Ground Exhibition – Part Two!

Happy 2016 everyone – to kick start this year Document Scotland have once again joined forces with our good friends the Welsh collective A Fine Beginning. Continuing our theme of collaboration and partnership to show our exhibition Common Ground.

The exhibition opening evening (to which you are all most welcome) is on Thuesday 4th February at 6pm at Wales Millennium Centre, Bute Place, Cardiff Bay, CF10 5AL.

The show was first exhibited at Street Level Photoworks in Glasgow from August to October in 2014.

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It will now travel to Wales to be shown at The Millennium Centre in Cardiff from 5th February – 10th April 2016. Where Document Scotland and a Fine Beginning will also deliver a series of FREE talks and portfolio reviews.

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The publication to accompany this exciting collaboration, also called Common Ground, is on sale via our website, and at various retail outlets across Scotland.

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Here’s the press release for the Cardiff phase, Part 2, of Common Ground.

We hope you can join us at one or more of the events.

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As ever thank you to our partners and funders.

 

 

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National Galleries events – Malcolm Dickson talk

Malcolm Dickson, director of Street Level Photoworks, Glasgow will give a lunchtime talk on 13th January at The Scottish National Galleries to accompany our exhibition “The Ties That Bind” currently on at The Scottish National Portrait Gallery. All are welcome – this event is FREE.

For more information please see here

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Ratio7:1 Question Time

Earlier this week photographer Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 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, & Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert, 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, Adam Winship, Susan McFadzean, 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. Robert 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, Ratio7:1 photography collective.

 

John Dougan's work on display at the Ration 7:1 photography show, Edinburgh. ©John Dougan 2015, all rights reserved.

John Dougan’s work on display at the Ration 7:1 photography show, Edinburgh. ©John Dougan 2015, all rights reserved.

 

John Dougan's work on display at the Ration 7:1 photography show, Edinburgh. ©John Dougan 2015, all rights reserved.

John Dougan’s work on display at the Ration 7:1 photography show, Edinburgh. ©John Dougan 2015, all rights reserved.

 

 

 

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Working The Border – Carlisle Photo Festival

Many thanks to Malcolm Dickson and Street Level Photoworks Glasgow for including work by Sophie Gerrard, Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert and Colin McPherson in an exhibition entitled ‘Working The Border’  at Carlisle Photo Festival recently. Situated on the railway bridge linking Northbound and Southbound platforms at Carlisle Railway Station, the exhibition also includes work by Colin Gray, Andy Wiener and Donald John MacLean. The festival itself was on from 7th – 15th November, however, the works on the railway bridge remain in place.

All the bodies of work featured are based upon or comment on the Anglo-Scottish border and notions of national identity, landscape and history.

 

Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert's images from 'Edge of an Empire' installed at Carlisle Photo Festival © Streetlevel Photoworks November 2014

Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert’s images from ‘Edge of an Empire’ installed at Carlisle Photo Festival. Image © Claire Maxwell, courtesy Street Level Photoworks November 2014

 

Carlisle Photo Festival © Claire Maxwell, courtesy Street Level Photoworks November 2014

Sophie Gerrard’s images from ‘Drawn To The Land’ installed at Carlisle Photo Festival. Image © Claire Maxwell, courtesy Street Level Photoworks November 2014

 

Carlisle Photo Festival Colin McPherson's images from 'A Fine Line' installed at Carlisle Photo Festival © Streetlevel Photoworks November 2014© Streetlevel Photoworks November 2014

Colin McPherson’s images from ‘A Fine Line’ installed at Carlisle Photo Festival. Image © Claire Maxwell, courtesy Street Level Photoworks November 2014

 

Originally shown in Document Scotland’s summer exhibition ‘Beyond The Border’ at Impressions Gallery in Bradford, the images chosen for ‘Working The Border’ include those from Sophie’s ‘Drawn To The Land’, Colin’s ‘A Fine Line’ and Jeremy’s ‘Edge of an Empire’.

 

Carlisle Photo Festival © Claire Maxwell, courtesy Street Level Photoworks November 2014

Carlisle Photo Festival. Image © Claire Maxwell, courtesy Street Level Photoworks November 2014

 

Carlisle Photo Festival © Streetlevel Photoworks November 2014

Carlisle Photo Festival. Image © Claire Maxwell, courtesy Street Level Photoworks November 2014

 

Working the Border’ explores the geophysical & cartographic line that separates Scotland from England.  It borrows its title from the larger work by ae phor, a selection of which was exhibited in the waiting room on Platform 4, accompanied by a soundwork ‘Border Fiddle Music’. This space also included a selected series from Jo Metson Scott’s ‘The Borderland’ project, which was shown for the first time, alongside ‘Schengland’ and ‘The Debatable Land’ by Alan Knox.

 

Carlisle Photo Festival © Streetlevel Photoworks November 2014

The waiting room on platform 4 at Carlisle Railway Station for Carlisle Photo Festival. Image © Claire Maxwell, courtesy Street Level Photoworks November 2014

 

Carlisle Photo Festival © Streetlevel Photoworks November 2014

Alan Knox’s ‘Schengland’ installed at Carlisle Photo Festival. Image © Claire Maxwell, courtesy Street Level Photoworks November 2014

 

The festival was on from 7th – 15th November – only a week, however, the work on the railway bridges remains in place, so, if you’re in town, or waiting for a connection, or passing through at 100mph on a Virgin train – be sure to take a look!

 

 

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Common Ground – our new publication

We’re delighted to announce that to accompany our ‘Common Ground’ exhibition at Street Level Photoworks, Glasgow, we have self-published an 84-page colour publication, and one which we can offer exclusively for sale here.

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Including two photo essays from each Document Scotland member, Sophie Gerrard, Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert, Colin McPherson and Stephen McLaren, ‘Common Ground’ takes a look at contemporary Scotland as the country stands on the verge of making a political decision which, whatever the outcome, will resonate through the ages. From the common riding festivals of the Scottish Borders, to the women farmers who work the land, a walk along the Scottish-English border or a car road trip through the streets and daily life of Scotland, this publication showcases new projects completed with assistance from Creative Scotland, for our current Street Level Photoworks exhibition.

 

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This publication also introduces work by our colleagues and friends at the Welsh photography collective A Fine Beginning – James O Jenkins, Abbie Trayler-Smith, Gawain Barnard and Jack Latham, work which can also be seen in the ‘Common Ground’ exhibition.

We are delighted to also include essays by Malcolm Dickson, curator and director at Street Level Photoworks, and Anne McNeill, director of Impressions Gallery, Bradford and curator of our ‘Beyond The Border’ show which runs at Impressions Gallery until September 27th.

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We are very proud to be able to present two photographs by Glasgow-born photojournalist Harry Benson CBE, who has graciously accepted an invite to become Document Scotland’s Honorary Patron. Stephen McLaren recently journeyed to New York to meet with Harry and his wife Gigi, and in an essay he recounts this meeting, along with the two historical photographs Harry chose for the publication from his archive.

The 84-page, A4-sized, full colour publication, which has a print run of 1,000, was designed by Cabin8Design – the same artists who beautifully designed our first two newspapers.

To purchase a copy please use the buttons below, if you have any problems just give us a shout!  It costs £10.00 GBP per copy, plus postage.

We are pleased to make this contribution to Scottish photography in this landmark year for our nation’s history, and we hope you too will enjoy the work within it.


Cost incl P&P



Many thanks indeed,

Sophie, Jeremy, Colin and Stephen.

 

Print

 

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Common Ground – Press Release

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This important and timely exhibition showcases groundbreaking new work from some of Wales and Scotland’s contemporary photographers.

Document Scotland, formed in 2012 by Colin McPherson, Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert, Sophie Gerrard and Stephen McLaren, are responding to the global audience looking at Scotland at this, one of the most important times in the country’s history.

Formed in the wake of Document Scotland in 2012, the Welsh collective A Fine Beginning is made up of photographers James O Jenkins, Jack Latham, Abbie Trayler- Smith and Gawain Barnard and showcases contemporary photography being made in Wales.
“I am delighted that Street Level Photoworks will be staging this exhibition of new photography by Document Scotland. These are exciting times for the collective and for photography in Scotland and their collaboration with A Fine Beginning is a positive message that Scottish photography is relevant, informative and outward facing.” –

Malcolm Dickson, Street Level Photoworks.

Key dates:

  • Tuesday 26th August – ‘Common Ground’ launches at Street Level.
  • Thursday 28th August – preview evening 6-8pm.
  • Friday 29th August – portfolio reviews and workshops with Document Scotland, A Fine Beginning and invited guests from the photography industry.
  • Saturday 30th August – talks and publication launch.

For further information or images please contact:

Document Scotland: ColinMcPherson
colin@documentscotland.com
07831 838 717
www.documentscotland.com
@DocuScotland

A Fine Beginning: James O Jenkins
james@jamesojenkins.co.uk
07876 341 910
www.afinebeginning.com
@afinebeginning

Listings information: Common Ground: New Documentary Photography from Scotland & Wales
Street Level Photoworks, Glasgow
26th August – 19th October 2014
Free
www.streetlevelphotoworks.org

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Download the PDF of this press release here.

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Going The Distance

Going The Distance is a Street Level Photoworks organised open show and features, amongst others, the work by Document Scotland’s Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert, from his projects ‘Park Run’ and ‘Life In The 3rd’.

“Sport, like art, is a universal language, it is part of our everyday lives, and a feature of our society’s diverse cultural life, involving people of all abilities and backgrounds. This exhibition was coordinated to mark the Commonwealth Games in Scotland and celebrates the exceptional and the commonplace in sport. It will tour to other regional venues in Scotland in late 2014 + 2015 as a Games Legacy exhibition.” – Street Level.

The show venues, and partcipating photographers are as follows, as well as all work being shown from 13th October – 16th November at Eastwood Park Gallery, Giffnock.

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A reception was held today at the Harbour Arts Centre to launch the show with talks by photographer Keith Ingham and also Jeremy.

Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert's work on show.

Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert’s work on show.

 

Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert's work from his Rangers FC series 'Life In The 3rd' on show.

Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert’s work from his Rangers FC series ‘Life In The 3rd’ on show.

 

Robin Mitchell's 'Into The Blue - Portrait Series of Bowlers'.

Robin Mitchell’s ‘Into The Blue – Portrait Series of Bowlers’.

 

Keith Ingham tells the story of his work.

Keith Ingham tells the story of his work.

 

Keith Ingham tells the story of his work.

Keith Ingham tells the story of his work.

 

Jane Stockdale's work from the Brazil World Cup.

Jane Stockdale’s work from the Brazil World Cup.

 

Malcolm Dickson (centre) of Street Level Photoworks introduces the show.

Malcolm Dickson (centre) of Street Level Photoworks introduces the show.

 

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