Starting a new series is always a tentative process: The fulfilment of an idea that may have been gathering momentum in a closet somewhere in a corner of your mind. Will a story translate from idea form to visual reality? Will I waste my time working on something that may lead to nothing?
The night before I made this image my mind was still going through familiar questions. I had spent a few days on the political youth project and so I was planning to visit the Conservative conference in Troon to push forward with the project. However I was unsure if a party political conference would provide the kind of interesting images that I was looking for. Would there be enough young people in attendance to justify making the trip? Would the building provide the right character and back-drop to my images? I’m sure all photographers are familiar with this self-questioning and critical approach to their own ideas. The truth is it all probably stems from the same thing- fear of failure. And there is only one to deal with this and that is to keep pushing forward.
So I made the trip to Troon, regardless of my reservations, fears and doubts, and I pushed forward with the project. To my surprise I arrived in Troon to find that the conference was not being held in a sparkling, modern conference centre but in a town hall with original decor dating back a few decades. As I wandered through the crowded corridors and past the various stalls it quickly became apparent that there were plenty of interesting young Conservatives to photograph. I settled on these aged yellow curtains in, what looked like an old school gym hall, as my background. The light was good and I decided the curtains would provide a nice contrast with the fresh, suited-and-booted individuals I had seen at the conference. I balanced my reflectors on some chairs and began approaching subjects.
Robert’s photograph, and others from his series, Political Youth, can be seen at Fotospace Gallery, Rothes Halls, Glenrothes, as part of the ‘Seeing Ourselves’ exhibition, which is curated by Document Scotland. The exhibition finishes today, July 31st 2013.
Document Scotland’s latest newspaper, which accompanies the exhibition, can be bought via our publications page.