The Youth House – Margaret Mitchell

We’re admirers of Margaret Mitchell’s work here at Document Scotland, having worked alongside her and featured past projects of hers on the site from Family, In This Place and The Guisers.

Margaret’s most recent body of work The Youth House, explores what happens when a community decides to empower its young people. Not choosing to lay down rules with detached judgement but offering care and support to help them grow and develop.

These portraits are of children and teens who come from one of the most socially disadvantaged areas in Glasgow. A local charity ‘The Children’s Wood’ reacted after experiencing antisocial behaviour on their outdoor community space. But they decided not to react with anger and judgement but to engage through kindness, offering the young people activities and skills on the land, in the outdoors. They then opened the project up to the wider youth community. These portraits were taken at the start of a new chapter: an indoor base being established, creating a safe space with a support network to access opportunity, to encourage potential.

In a society where it seems that some children have all the opportunities whilst others have none, let these young people grow, let them flourish.

Sophie spoke with Margaret earlier this month.

From the series The Youth House, © Margaret Mitchel 2020 all rights reserved.
Young people are encouraged in their own interests, supported to find activities to engage in. This can sometimes be a long process, but it is one that is sustained to help the individual and support their needs. From the series The Youth House, © Margaret Mitchel 2020 all rights reserved.

DS: I first saw ‘The Youth House’ on Instagram. Bright colourful rooms with young people front and centre. Your work has always explored family, young people and individuals with such care and dignity and this project is no different. 

How did you come to start this project, what drew your attention to the place?

MM: I came to this project because it is something that is happening close to where I live in Glasgow and I felt connected to what the organisation is doing. The Children’s Wood is local to me and I followed and supported them over the years as they campaigned to preserve open land for community space, groups and outdoor education. Once they had done this, they didn’t stop at that success but also initiated a youth-based programme called the G20 Youth Festival. This relates to the G20 postcode where The Children’s Wood is situated, a large locality that has much disparity in terms of health, employment, education, crime and housing.

Following some antisocial behaviour on the community land, the organisation decided to determine why this was. Instead of judging the teens by reporting them to the police, to remove them from the community space, they actively engaged with the young people, asking them what it was they wanted, what they needed. As a local resident, I admired the goals and dedication behind this grass roots venture. I came in to document the young people at a time in 2019 when they had just established an indoor base in addition to meeting outdoors. These portraits were taken at the start of this new chapter of ‘The Youth House’ being established, creating a safe space with a support network to access opportunity, encourage potential and empower young lives.

From the series The Youth House, © Margaret Mitchel 2020 all rights reserved.
Other older teens are often supported in finding work placements, to find that ‘thing’ that sparks and holds their interest, takes them out and into the world. From the series The Youth House, © Margaret Mitchel 2020 all rights reserved.
From the series The Youth House, © Margaret Mitchel 2020 all rights reserved.
The sessions are split into the ‘Youngers’ and the ‘Olders’ and set up to maximise the support and activities for the age groups. They call it their base. Like an anchor to ground them in this area of high social disadvantage. From the series The Youth House, © Margaret Mitchel 2020 all rights reserved.

DS: Why are the young people at this youth club so interesting to you, and how did you connect with them, there’s trust between you and them – how did you build this? 

MM: My work has looked at issues of inequality in the past and this work along with other projects I am working on continues that concern. There is great inequality over very short physical distances in Glasgow: the G20 postcode has areas of affluence close to areas that score in the top 5% as the most disadvantaged on the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation. The young people in The Youth House live in such an area where their life choices and chances shrink remarkably through these multiple disadvantages. Obviously, the work I did with my extended family informs and pulls me into working in certain areas. That background drew me into this, not only to create photographic work but to volunteer in the longer term and offer photography-based projects to interested young people. It’s about building and maintaining relationships over time with the young people, offering more than just quick visits but be someone who is reliable in their eyes.

From the series The Youth House, © Margaret Mitchel 2020 all rights reserved.
As well as doing activities in the outdoors, the base for the young people was established to offer more opportunities during the dark winter months. From the series The Youth House, © Margaret Mitchel 2020 all rights reserved.
From the series The Youth House, © Margaret Mitchel 2020 all rights reserved.
In Glasgow, it gets dark at 4pm in winter. The base offers these young people a place close by their homes, to hang out in, to learn in. And to flourish. From the series The Youth House, © Margaret Mitchel 2020 all rights reserved.

DS: There is a deep sense of connection here.  We see a relationship between you and the sitter – what’s the process of engagement for the portraits?

MM: Most of this series was done at the start of building my connection with them at the end of 2019. I also worked with some of them during the day, accompanied by their youth worker, helping them to make their own photographs. This resulted in me knowing some better than others. Nine months on, some of these teens know me well, chat as I pass on the street about what they are doing, shout hello as I walk through the estate. This might sound a small thing, but it is not – gaining trust is super important and I need to handle that with respect and with care.   

But like constructing any portrait and working with people, it is about the connection you make, even quickly, with the person you are photographing. I am doing environmental portraits here, within spaces that are important to them, their place. And it is an evolving space, a base that is getting painted and changed and used differently all the time. It develops gradually as more funds are raised and importantly, the decisions the young people make will influence that space and how it is used.

Although I mostly still work on film for personal projects, this work was shot on digital as it was a Leica Loanpool award. This meant I showed the young people the photos right after doing them and we discussed them there and then. I also returned with prints for them so they all had a copy and we also started to work on thoughts to go alongside their photos and discussed if we would make the text anonymous or not.

Lockdown put a pause to meeting the larger groups but that will hopefully change as time goes on. I am already seeing a few of them weekly again in the outdoors, sometimes just catching up and seeing how they all are, sometimes we do photos. Again, prints are taken back to them and the next stage is to sit down together and look at new photos and deciding what the images are saying. Although I am the photographer, the one who presses the shutter, it is a collaborative method of achieving it. This makes it a longer process but one that is more reflective of their lives, more relevant to their experiences.

From the series The Youth House, © Margaret Mitchel 2020 all rights reserved.
In a society where it seems that some children have all the opportunities whilst others have none, let these young people grow, let them flourish. From the series The Youth House, © Margaret Mitchel 2020 all rights reserved.
From the series The Youth House, © Margaret Mitchel 2020 all rights reserved.
Before Coronavirus, the base was open three evenings a week, running multiple activities with youth workers and volunteers. Young people came along once to have a look and then kept on coming back. It is a place made for them. Their place. From the series The Youth House, © Margaret Mitchel 2020 all rights reserved.

DS: What are the stories of these young people’s lives – how have they come to attend a place like this – and why is it beneficial to them.

MM: Some of the young people came to the base through engaging with youth workers, either through outreach or following the initial problems in The Children’s Wood. Others are from the general community and came through their friends, so now there is a mix of children, teens and young adults from ages 10 to 25.  Some individuals have greater support requirements, so the team concentrate on addressing specific needs within multiple histories of disadvantage. Sometimes this is done in consultation with schools and other agencies but it involves the young people in that decision process at every stage.

The young people’s backgrounds are varied but all live in the G20 postcode, most within areas of high disadvantage. The youth workers offer diversionary activities, ones that will let them flourish in their interests or introduce new interests to them. This has included aspects such the older teens running outdoor play sessions for local children, starting up a ‘Food Pantry’ after a successful community food delivery service during lockdown, establishing an allotment, training in various sports, help with college applications and apprenticeships. It offers potential for them to think of doing something different. It gives them a place to go, with adults who support and encourage them and ask their opinions and develop their interests. Basically, it gives encouragement and support and offers opportunities –  hope –   where before there was none. Importantly, the G20 Youth Festival needs ongoing funding to do this vital work without which many young people in this area would be left to flounder.

From the series The Youth House, © Margaret Mitchel 2020 all rights reserved.
There is a locked entrance to keep the base a safe space. Amongst other activities, workers and volunteers come in to offer sport, including boxing skills, to the young people. From the series The Youth House, © Margaret Mitchel 2020 all rights reserved.
From the series The Youth House, © Margaret Mitchel 2020 all rights reserved.
The young people are asked how they should shape their Youth House, what décor would be good, how can they demonstrate who they are through their environment. From the series The Youth House, © Margaret Mitchel 2020 all rights reserved.

DS: What are you trying to show with this work – why did you feel it had to be made?

MM: My main interest as a photographer is in people, in the human condition. Within that I often photograph childhood into adulthood and the experience of being a young person within a certain set of circumstances. For me, these portraits reflect on an aspect of the individual but there is the larger social question that surrounds them. Seen together as a set of images, another story emerges: the overview of a time and a place and the representation of lives lived in an unequal society. It’s also showing the power of a grassroots community organisation that doesn’t lay down rules with detached judgement but offers care and support to help young people grow and develop.

Teenagers from all backgrounds are often unfairly judged but it is even stronger with those from disadvantaged backgrounds, where the individual instead of the system is blamed. I hope that by bringing awareness to the disadvantage right under our noses, these teens can be valued as people whose life choices should have been much better but are not because of structural inequality. The G20 Youth Festival is trying to address that with youth workers, school liaisons, volunteers etc. My ongoing work and connection with them is just another support mechanism feeding into that.

As photographers, our subject matter and the stories contained therein drives our work. The faces looking out at us in these portraits perhaps ask us some questions about how well we as a society are measuring up in offering fair and equal opportunity to all.

DS: How do the young people respond to the portraits, and what are your plans for the future?

MM: This first set of portraits was made over the course of a numerous visits but because of the nature of the club, not all of were there every time I visited. Then the lockdown happened. As mentioned, prints were taken back to the base and I also chatted extensively with some to start the process of adding personal but anonymous text that would be relevant.  This text for example might only be displayed in their base for them to see; that will be a decision we take together. That part for me is about making the photos into something that is circular, that comes back to the source, how we make use of this photography in addition to traditional exhibiting.

This work continues. The Youth House project was done at the end of 2019. I continued working with some of the young people in these portraits up until lockdown, helping them doing their own photography and making handmade books. I had this dual approach from the start: one was my work and the other was theirs but within that crossovers happen because my own work comes from what I observe throughout this process and the time of being with them.

My connection with these young people continues, some of them are involved in my ongoing long-term project work outside of The Youth House.  Work that will be shown once finalised, reflecting as previous projects did on place, opportunity, inequality and belonging. This becomes long-term work because the lives of those I am working with are complex and in order to produce work that is fair and has depth, time is needed.

Thank you Margaret for taking time to talk to us about The Youth House – we really look forward to seeing how the project progresses.

To see more of this project go to Margaret’s website at www.margaretmitchell.co.uk/the-youth-house

Follow Margaret on Instagram Facebook and Twitter

Salaam – Ili Mansor

سلام

Salaam is a short form for ‘As-salamu alaykum’ which means may peace be upon you, a universal greeting Muslims greet each other with. Salaam (peace) is the main concept of this body of work.

Islamophobia is a continuous problem in the world. There is a stereotype of how a Muslim should look like. Some examples will be donning the hijab or being brown-skinned. This body of work is to challenge the stereotype showcasing a series of portraiture to show the diversity of Islam in the UK

Beliefs and appearances should not be presumed.

Ili Mansor created this work whilst a student at Edinburgh Napier University in 2019.

Thomas Feige, from the series Salaam image © Ili Mansoor 2019 all rights reserved.
Thomas Feige, Edinburgh, from the series Salaam image © Ili Mansoor 2019 all rights reserved.
Fatima Rafiq, from the series Salaam image © Ili Mansoor 2019 all rights reserved.
Fatima Rafiq, Edinburgh, from the series Salaam image © Ili Mansoor 2019 all rights reserved.

DS: Hi Ili, can you tell us a little about how you came to make this work  – it was made while you were a student, what made you choose the subject. 

IM: My project is about the beauty of Islam in portraits. I really wanted to show the diversity in this religion that often society are not aware of. It started with me feeling really uncomfortable about the term ‘Islamophobia’. Every single time a person look at Islam they always talk about the hijab and a brown-skinned looking person. There is always a certain picture that comes to a person’s mind on how a Muslim should look like. Often, society relates Islam to terrorism. Honestly, as a person who practices and beliefs in Islam, I feel sad and I can’t seem to put my feelings into words. 

I’ve experienced first-hand on how people were in shock when they found out that I was a Muslim. Then questions starts rolling in, “is it true, we can’t touch the head of someone wearing the hijab?”, “are you really a Muslim?! you don’t even have the hijab on, you don’t look like one either”, “your name doesn’t sound like one” and so on.

I have friends who have experienced harassment because they put on the hijab. There was that incident when there was a letter given to some organisations in the UK titled ‘Punish a Muslim day’ on April 3rd, 2018. A friend of mine was so scared she took her hijab off and went to class. She felt so ashamed but for her safety, she had to, she told me. I felt sad because to me hijab is part of an individual.

Hence, I was motivated to address this subject because it is so personal to me and I really want to play my part to talk about it visually.

Haddy Jeng, from the series Salaam image © Ili Mansoor 2019 all rights reserved.
Haddy Jeng, Edinburgh, from the series Salaam image © Ili Mansoor 2019 all rights reserved.
Ali Babiker, from the series Salaam image © Ili Mansoor 2019 all rights reserved.
Ali Babiker, Edinburgh, from the series Salaam image © Ili Mansoor 2019 all rights reserved.

DS: The portraits are captivating in their simplicity, why did you choose this style of photography to communicate this subject. 

IM: Honestly, I got the inspiration from Thomas Ruff’s portrait series. If only I get to see it in person. I am amazed at the installation photographs online. When my lecturer, Alexander Supartono discussed about Thomas Ruff’s portraits in class, I can’t help but remembered what he mentioned, “officials trust your passport photo more than you in person”.

Many asked, why I made my subjects wear white against a white cloth as backdrop. Muslims have a common greeting when we meet each other, ‘Salaam’. That’s also the reason why I chose this title. The title ‘Salaam’ means peace and white is the colour of peace.

White eliminates everything else and get the audience to focus on the facial features of my subject. The gaze of each portraits is very important and lastly I really want my audience to know that in Islam, rich and poor should all be treated equally, They are all the same, there isn’t a bigger person. Hence, wearing white helps my audience bring their focus to the faces of the portraits. It’s really beautiful and that’s a part of the teachings in Islam that I would like to share through my portraits in the series, ‘Salaam’.

During the exhibition I presented my photos on a matte paper and printed them in A1. I enjoy looking at big photographs, it feels like I am communicating with the artwork. It grabs attention and gets the message across too. Simplicity is key, helps all age groups to understand easily.

Alexander Krabbendam, Edinburgh, from the series Salaam image © Ili Mansoor 2019 all rights reserved.
Alexander Krabbendam, Edinburgh, from the series Salaam image © Ili Mansoor 2019 all rights reserved.

DS: Who are these people – ages, backgrounds etc, how did you find them, how did you get people involved, why did they want to take part in the project?

IM: I photographed a total of 42 Muslims in Edinburgh from young to old, all came from different backgrounds and were residing in United Kingdom at that moment. I used social media as a platform to share (e.g. Instagram and Facebook), approached societies from different Universities in Edinburgh to join their meetings so I am able to introduce my project,  and lastly talked to organisations such as Saheliya and The Welcoming to ask if anyone were interested.

I was touched because the people who I photographed supported the same views and wants to play their part in showing the world the diversity of Islam. I took about 30mins to an hour to photograph each portrait. During that time, I hear the individual stories and it is a mix of both beautiful and sad. All the people I photographed really wants the society to know that beliefs and appearance should not be presumed.

They supported my idea because just like me, they experience it first-hand too and have a story to share.

Salma Ahmed, from the series Salaam image © Ili Mansoor 2019 all rights reserved.
Salma Ahmed, Edinburgh, from the series Salaam image © Ili Mansoor 2019 all rights reserved.

DS: What are you working on now?

IM: I just got a job as a Visual Journalist in Singapore with a local online news platform. It was a dream of mine to be able to work as a Photojournalist – why visual? Cause the work focus on doing photos and videos. This helps me practice on my skillset and really understand what it is like working in a newsroom. A really fast-paced job and you’ve got to be prepared for any types of situations… also, I always have to dress comfortably because there’s a lot of walking, exploring and sweating. As a visual journalist (for only a few months now), I always remind myself that it is important to adapt in any condition!

At the same time, I look forward to work on my project ‘Salaam’ again and this time,  I aim to photograph more people. My goal is for my audience to see the message behind my portraits, “society should see colours in Islam and not just looking at a group or community that looks similar.”

Kamal Tampi, from the series Salaam image © Ili Mansoor 2019 all rights reserved.
Kamal Tampi, Edinburgh, from the series Salaam image © Ili Mansoor 2019 all rights reserved.

Thanks Ili, your work raises important questions about identity, diversity and prejudice, both in Scotland and the wider world, thank you for sharing it with us, SG.

Keep up to date with Ili’s work on Instagram at @ilinadhirah and see her website at www.ilinmansor.com

image © Alishia Farnan 2018 all rights reserved

Social State – Alishia Farnan

Alishia Farnan lives and works in Glasgow, Scotland. She is one of the winners of the Jill Todd Photography Award 2019 and she studied photography at Edinburgh Napier University and Glasgow School of Art. Her body of work Social State explores social spaces and the everyday, specifically working men’s clubs in the west of Scotland.

“Born and raised in the west of Scotland, I grew up in an area that has a history steeped in the steel and coal industries. Generations of families live closely together in neighbourhoods and community spirit is fundamental to the area.

Men from these areas traditionally socialised in buildings based on their current or former profession – working men’s clubs were ‘the’ place to be. Weddings, funerals, christenings, birthdays were/are hosted in these multi purpose buildings.

Over the past twenty years, as traditions have changed, these buildings have become haunts for older generations instead of appealing to the younger crowds – many have fallen into financial hardship and have closed their doors. ‘Social State’ seeks to document these historic buildings before the social landscape changes beyond recognition.”

Sophie recently spoke with Alishia about this body of work.

image © Alishia Farnan 2018 all rights reserved
image © Alishia Farnan 2018 all rights reserved

 

DS: Hi Alishia thank you for speaking to us about your work, can we start with the beginning – how did you start in photography – where did it begin for you and why?

AF: I started working with photography about 2007 when I realised that I wasn’t any good at drawing, or painting and that photography was a good alternative. From there I studied it at school and continued onto Edinburgh Napier University before completing my undergrad degree at Glasgow School of Art in 2015.

image © Alishia Farnan 2018 all rights reserved
image © Alishia Farnan 2018 all rights reserved

 

DS: Your project Social State documents working men’s clubs in the west of Scotland, you’ve said that with this project you’re aiming to document these historic buildings before the social landscape changes beyond recognition – what led you to find and photograph these locations in the first place and why?

AF: These places, and the industries connected to them, have been around me all of my life. Born and raised in the west of Scotland, I grew up in an area that has a history steeped in the steel and coal industries. Generations of families live closely together in neighbourhoods and community spirit is fundamental to the area. My Gran is a historian specialising in mining in Lanarkshire, so I spent my childhood running around bings. I also had many roast dinners in my local ex-servicemen’s club with my maternal grandparents growing up. I went back to that ex-servicemen’s club in 2012 for a wedding reception and I felt a wave of nostalgia and fondness for the building. I had already started documenting interiors in my work and this seemed like a good opportunity for a new body of work.

image © Alishia Farnan 2018 all rights reserved
image © Alishia Farnan 2018 all rights reserved

 

image © Alishia Farnan 2018 all rights reserved
image © Alishia Farnan 2018 all rights reserved

 

DS: Your photographs are devoid of people, what led you to photograph these spaces when they were empty?
 
AF: Due to the declining memberships in a lot of these clubs there are often few people in during the week – I have had clubs tell me it’s a busy day when there were 8 men in having a drink and a game of pool. As a result of this I don’t need to work around a busy crowd or ever ask anyone to leave, I just document the spaces as I find them.
 
I like the idea of the viewer imagining who goes there, I think in the images you can see a portrait of the members: skid marks on the floor, scuffs on the wall, seats that have marks where people have sat for 40 years. In my photography as a whole I don’t include people and I prefer to let the spaces I work in speak for themselves.
 

DS: What’s significant about these places and these people for you? 

They are significant because they are often the lifeblood of an area. Miners’ welfares and social clubs were hubs during the miners strikes, many of the clubs were built by the original members and now they continue to function as spaces fundamental to the community in which they reside. There is a richness to these buildings that is often immediately visible when you step inside, generations of members are proudly displayed on the walls and there’s always at least one person sitting at the bar who can tell you the entire history of the building.

 

DS: If you continued this project to other parts of the country what different stories or similarities do you think you’d find, also as a female accessing these once traditionally male spaces – how do you reflect on the significance of that?
I think these spaces function in similar ways, and with similar histories around the country – there will be differences dependent on industry and local history which is what makes them interesting to me. I think they still are predominantly male spaces however, there are many clubs, especially bowling, that are full of women when I visit. If I’m honest, it’s not something that I tend to dwell on when I’m making the work. Although, I was once speaking to a man in a bowling club about one that I had been to which only offers a half membership to women and he asked ‘who’s their president? Donald Trump?’

 

DS: What does the future hold – both for these places & the people that use them and for you as a photographer? You’ve been a winner in the Jill Todd – congratulations – where are things heading next?
 
AF: Thank you! Being in Jill Todd has been a lovely experience and I’m very thankful to have been included this year. In the long term I’m looking at producing Social State as a book, perhaps a series of books as the project progresses. In the short, I am at the beginning of consolidating a body of images that I have taken over the past few years with the aim to create a short run book. Project wise, Social State will continue until I have documented all the clubs in the west of Scotland and I am also in the planning stages for another project looking at similarly traditional spaces, again in Scotland.

DS: You established Peach Estate – can you give us some information about that too?

AF: I established Peach Estate with my friend and former GSA classmate Jenny Lindholm in 2016, the year after we graduated. We both felt the urge to create a platform for sharing work by photographers that we loved. We see it as a curatorial platform, we like to make selections of the artists’ work to compliment their own archives and also the artists we share around their feature. We have been lucky over the past three years to have grown a following of people who engage with us on a daily basis – it’s a really rewarding project to work on. What’s next? We would love to create a book, and to have a physical exhibition at some point – but for now, it’s solely digital.

Thank you Alishia – you can see more of Alishia’s work on her website here and find Peach Estate here.

image © Alishia Farnan 2018 all rights reserved
image © Alishia Farnan 2018 all rights reserved

 

image © Alishia Farnan 2018 all rights reserved
image © Alishia Farnan 2018 all rights reserved

Looking over the border

Fareweel to a’ oor Scottish fame
Fareweel oor ancient glory
Fareweel even tae oor Scottish name
Sae famed in martial story
Noo Sark runs o’er the Solway sands
Tweed runs tae the ocean
Tae mark where
England’s province stands
Such a parcel o’ rogues in a nation

– Robert Burns, 1791

Exactly two years ago, I embarked on a 12-month journey to trace Scotland’s border with England. The result was A Fine Line.

Starting in the frontier town of Gretna, separated from England by the tiny river Sark, I followed a meandering series of paths, tracks and roads and over the next year drifted from west to east, finally ending my journey at the North Sea, a few miles north of Berwick-upon-Tweed.

The purpose was part-documentary, part self-discovery: I wanted to explore my identity as a Scot exiled in England through photography and with the referendum on Scottish Independence on the horizon, it seemed to be the perfect time for such a project.

My travels took me to towns and villages, moorland and hilltops. I photographed people I encountered along the way and events which make up the fabric of life on the border. I researched my trips, looking at the geography, history and topography of my destinations, but beyond that, I left it to my mind and eyes to wander across the stunning landscapes and ancient settlements. The only restriction I placed on myself was that all the images should be ‘made in Scotland’.

Shooting everything on a single, medium-format film camera allowed me to focus on the content of the images without the distraction of choices of different lenses. The result was a fusion of documentary, portraiture and landscape photography which was put together to reflect my personal experiences and points-of-view.

The first phase of the project initially appeared in our debut Seeing Ourselves exhibition in 2013 at Fotospace. On the strength of that work, Anne MacNeill, curator of Impressions Gallery, encouraged me to keep the project going, to which end it was displayed as part of our Beyond the Border show in Bradford last summer.

As the debate and discussion around Scotland’s ongoing relationship with her bigger, more powerful neighbour continues through the ballot boxes at Westminster and Holyrood, I envisage retuning to the border lands some time soon and rediscovering the people and places of this unique habitat.

© Colin McPherson, 2013, all rights reserved.
‘Welcome to Scotland, 2013.’ Photograph © Colin McPherson, all rights reserved.
© Colin McPherson, 2013, all rights reserved.
‘Married Couple, Gretna, 2013.’ Photograph © Colin McPherson, all rights reserved.
© Colin McPherson, 2013, all rights reserved.
‘Solway Firth, 2013.’ Photograph © Colin McPherson, all rights reserved.
© Colin McPherson, 2013, all rights reserved.
‘Wedding, Gretna Green, 2013.’ Photograph © Colin McPherson, all rights reserved.
© Colin McPherson, 2013, all rights reserved.
‘Rod Stewart, Gretna, 2013.’ Photograph © Colin McPherson, all rights reserved.
© Colin McPherson, 2013, all rights reserved.
‘Burial Ground, Canonbie, 2013.’ Photograph © Colin McPherson, all rights reserved.
© Colin McPherson, 2013, all rights reserved.
‘The Holm Show, 2013.’ Photograph © Colin McPherson, all rights reserved.
© Colin McPherson, 2013, all rights reserved.
‘Site of the Battle of Redeswire, 2013.’ Photograph © Colin McPherson, all rights reserved.
© Colin McPherson, 2013, all rights reserved.
‘Salmon Nets, Paxton House, 2013.’ Photograph © Colin McPherson, all rights reserved.
© Colin McPherson, 2014, all rights reserved.
‘Woman with a Union Jack Bag, Town Yetholm, 2014.’ Photograph © Colin McPherson, all rights reserved.
© Colin McPherson, 2014, all rights reserved.
‘Berwickshire Coastal Park, 2014.’ Photograph © Colin McPherson, all rights reserved.
© Colin McPherson, 2014, all rights reserved.
‘Inshore Waters, 2014.’ Photograph © Colin McPherson, all rights reserved.

 

 

Amye And Ahren

At a recent Document Scotland salon, at Stills Gallery, Edinburgh, we invited Sarah Amy Fishlock, editor and publisher of ‘GooseFlesh’ photography ‘zine, to show some of her recent photography from her project ‘Amye And Ahren’ documenting the daily life of a boy living with autism. Sarah kindly lets us reproduce the work here also. Sarah is currently a finalist in the Magnum/ Ideastap Photographic Award 2014 and we wish her good luck! – Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert.

'Amye And Ahren', ©Sarah Amy Fishlock 2013, all rights reserved.
‘Amye And Ahren’, ©Sarah Amy Fishlock 2013, all rights reserved.

 

Ahren’s condition is atypical – an intelligent and articulate child, he wasn’t officially diagnosed with high-functioning autism until January 2012, at the age of eight. In the previous three years he was moved between three different schools, as staff found themselves unable to handle his disruptive behaviour. The family’s struggle to find a suitable school for Ahren is ongoing. This uncertainty means that Ahren struggles to make social and academic progress: as he matures, he is becoming increasingly aware of how his condition is holding him back. He often comes home feeling frustrated, and directs his aggression towards his mother, Amye.

One of autism’s main features is a lack of social intelligence: the usual rules that adults use to define appropriate behaviour are confusing to autistic children. Unable to fully process the meaning behind a stern face or angry words, much of the ‘bad’ behaviour of children like Ahren is an attempt to test the limits of a social code that they experience as impenetrable. The organisation of the home, and of family life, is forced to change in order to manage this.

Similarly, my initial ideas for documenting the family’s home life similarly had to evolve to accommodate Ahren’s unpredictability: he can swing from contentment to rage to hyperactivity within a few minutes. Each day is determined by Ahren’s whims – cake-making, den-building, hide-and-seeking, as well as more unstructured activities. The project evolved into a portrait of this chaotic, unconventional home life, and Ahren’s attempts to deal with the isolation of his autism.  The resulting images convey the life that Ahren lives inside his own head: a little boy who knows that he is different, but is just trying to grow up like everyone else, in a world that is often experienced as indecipherable.

Sarah Amy Fishlock.

'Amye And Ahren', ©Sarah Amy Fishlock 2013, all rights reserved.
‘Amye And Ahren’, ©Sarah Amy Fishlock 2013, all rights reserved.

 

'Amye And Ahren', ©Sarah Amy Fishlock 2013, all rights reserved.
‘Amye And Ahren’, ©Sarah Amy Fishlock 2013, all rights reserved.

 

'Amye And Ahren', ©Sarah Amy Fishlock 2013, all rights reserved.
‘Amye And Ahren’, ©Sarah Amy Fishlock 2013, all rights reserved.

 

'Amye And Ahren', ©Sarah Amy Fishlock 2013, all rights reserved.
‘Amye And Ahren’, ©Sarah Amy Fishlock 2013, all rights reserved.

 

'Amye And Ahren', ©Sarah Amy Fishlock 2013, all rights reserved.
‘Amye And Ahren’, ©Sarah Amy Fishlock 2013, all rights reserved.

 

'Amye And Ahren', ©Sarah Amy Fishlock 2013, all rights reserved.
‘Amye And Ahren’, ©Sarah Amy Fishlock 2013, all rights reserved.

 

'Amye And Ahren', ©Sarah Amy Fishlock 2013, all rights reserved.
‘Amye And Ahren’, ©Sarah Amy Fishlock 2013, all rights reserved.

 

'Amye And Ahren', ©Sarah Amy Fishlock 2013, all rights reserved.
‘Amye And Ahren’, ©Sarah Amy Fishlock 2013, all rights reserved.

 

'Amye And Ahren', ©Sarah Amy Fishlock 2013, all rights reserved.
‘Amye And Ahren’, ©Sarah Amy Fishlock 2013, all rights reserved.

 

'Amye And Ahren', ©Sarah Amy Fishlock 2013, all rights reserved.
‘Amye And Ahren’, ©Sarah Amy Fishlock 2013, all rights reserved.

 

Sarah Fishlock’s website is here, and on Twitter @sarahfishlock.

The Scottish Independence Referendum

 

Highs, lows, an historical and unforgettable week for Scotland.

Here are some of the images shot by Colin McPherson, Sophie Gerrard, Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert and Stephen McLaren in the lead up to and over the 18th September 2014. The world was watching, and so were we…

 

 

Colin McPherson

(above: Alex Salmond and a supporter take a ‘selfie’, Perth, Scotland image © Colin McPherson 2014, all rights reserved.)

© Colin McPherson 2014 all rights reserved.
A pro-independence gathering in George Square, Glasgow © Colin McPherson 2014 all rights reserved.

 

© Colin McPherson 2014 all rights reserved.
The audience cheer as former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown MP delivers a speech to supporters at a Better Together rally at Community Central Hall, Glasgow © Colin McPherson 2014 all rights reserved.

 

© Colin McPherson 2014 all rights reserved.
A musician with flaming bagpipes leads a spontaneous march to mobilise support for a pro-independence vote on the day of the independence referendum, Craigmillar, Edinburgh © Colin McPherson 2014 all rights reserved.

 

© Colin McPherson 2014 all rights reserved.
Members of the Protestant Orange Order march through Edinburgh © Colin McPherson 2014 all rights reserved.

 

© Colin McPherson 2014 all rights reserved.
Scottish socialist campaigner and former parliamentarian Tommy Sheridan speaking at Shottstown Miners Welfare club in Penicuik, Midlothian © Colin McPherson 2014 all rights reserved.

 

© Colin McPherson 2014 all rights reserved.
A pro-independence supporter breaks down in tears outside the Scottish Parliament building in Edinburgh as the results of the referendum on Scottish independence are announced. © Colin McPherson 2014 all rights reserved.

 

 

Sophie Gerrard

140918SG_IndyRef_9698
The media village outside the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood, Edinburgh, on a misty 18th September 2014, the day of the independence referendum. © Sophie Gerrard 2014 all rights reserved.

 

Union Flag and St Andrews Cross fly from a front garden in Argyll, Scotland. © Sophie gerrard 2014 all rights reserved.
The Union Flag and St Andrews Cross fly from a garden in Argyll, Scotland. © Sophie Gerrard 2014 all rights reserved.

 

140918SG_IndyRef_9662
The Craxton Family at their local polling station, Edinburgh, 18th September 2014 © Sophie Gerrard 2014 all rights reserved.

 

140918SG_IndyRef_9675
Erik Kruse at his local polling station, Edinburgh, 18th September 2014 © Sophie Gerrard 2014 all rights reserved.

 

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A family at their local polling station, Edinburgh, 18th September 2014 © Sophie Gerrard 2014 all rights reserved.

 

201412SG_IndyRef_7033
Bruce, Edinburgh, September 2014 © Sophie Gerrard 2014 all rights reserved.

 

140919SG_IndyRef_9945
Overseas media report on the results of the independence referendum from outside the Scottish Parliament, Holyrood, Edinburgh, 19th September 2014. © Sophie Gerrard 2014 all rights reserved

 

14090919SG_IndyRef_9932
Being interviewed outside the Scottish Parliament, Holyrood, Edinburgh, 19th September 2014. © Sophie Gerrard 2014 all rights reserved

 

 

Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert

© Jeremy Sutton Hibbert 2014 all rights reserved.
Pro-Union No voters argue in the street with pro-Independence Yes voters, in the run up to the referendum in Glasgow, Scotland. © Jeremy Sutton Hibbert 2014 all rights reserved.

 

512267683JS046_Referendum_D
Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland, talking to youths while out campaigning for a Yes vote in the Scottish independence referendum, East End of Glasgow, Scotland © Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2014 all rights reserved.

 

© Jeremy Sutton Hibbert 2014 all rights reserved.
A heated exchange of opinions takes place between pro-Scottish independence supporters and a pro-Union supporter in the run-up to the referendum on Scottish independence in Glasgow, Scotland © Jeremy Sutton Hibbert 2014 all rights reserved.

 

© Jeremy Sutton Hibbert 2014 all rights reserved.
A pro-Union Better Together campaign sticker reading ‘No Thanks’ is affixed to a window alongside a Union Jack flag, Glasgow, Scotland © Jeremy Sutton Hibbert 2014 all rights reserved.

 

© Jeremy Sutton Hibbert 2014 all rights reserved.
Pro-Independence Yes supporters in George Square the day before the Scottish independence referendum, Glasgow, Scotland © Jeremy Sutton Hibbert 2014 all rights reserved.

 

© Jeremy Sutton Hibbert 2014 all rights reserved.
Gordon Brown speaks at a pro-Union event, the day before the Scottish Independence referendum, Glasgow, Scotland © Jeremy Sutton Hibbert 2014 all rights reserved.

 

© Jeremy Sutton Hibbert 2014 all rights reserved.
Jim Murphy MP, former Secretary of State for Scotland, arrives carrying his soapboxes as he continued his ‘100 towns in 100 days’ tour outside the Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, Scotland © Jeremy Sutton Hibbert 2014 all rights reserved © Jeremy Sutton Hibbert 2014 all rights reserved.

 

 

Stephen McLaren

© Stephen McLaren 2014, all rights reserved.
Bruce Turnbull, of Leith, Edinburgh, salutes after he has cast his vote in the Independence Referendum on 18th September 2014 © Stephen McLaren 2014, all rights reserved.

 

© Stephen McLaren 2014, all rights reserved.
Men walk on a foggy Calton Hill, a famous Edinburgh landmark, as the polling boots open for the Scottish independence referendum on 18th of September 2014 © Stephen McLaren 2014, all rights reserved.

 

© Stephen McLaren 2014, all rights reserved.
A young girl standing in front of TV crews as they interview Alex Salmond, in Glasgow during the independence referendum © Stephen McLaren 2014, all rights reserved.

 

© Stephen McLaren 2014, all rights reserved.
A supporter of the No to Scottish Independence campaign, at a polling place in central Edinburgh © Stephen McLaren 2014, all rights reserved.

 

© Stephen McLaren 2014, all rights reserved.
Nicola Sturgeon being interviewed in Glasgow for radio during the independence referendum campaign © Stephen McLaren 2014, all rights reserved.

 

© Stephen McLaren 2014, all rights reserved.
George Square, Glasgow on the night of the independence referendum © Stephen McLaren 2014, all rights reserved.

 

 

This is only a small selection of the work shot by Document Scotland’s 4 photographers on the days surrounding the 18th September 2014. You can see more on each of on our websites and by following these links …

Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert on Getty Images

Colin McPherson on Corbis Images

Sophie Gerrard for The Financial Times

Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert in TIME

Colin McPherson in The Independent on Sunday

Sophie Gerrard in The Telegraph

Stephen McLaren and Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert for Der Spiegel

Colin McPherson in TIME

Sophie Gerrard on Instagram for The Photographers’ Gallery

Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert in The Guardian, here, here, and here

Colin McPherson in The Guardian here , here and here

Sophie Gerrard for Le Monde

Colin McPherson for Le Monde

Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert and Colin McPherson in Armen Magazine

Colin McPherson in The New Yorker

Photographs were also published in The Daily Record, L’express, Internazionale & Nation

Document Scotland in the British Journal of Photography and again here

Document Scotland on Photomonitor and again here

Document Scotland in The BBC

Time And Tide Wait For No Man.

Luke Brown sent us this series of images ‘Time And Tide Wait For No Man’, a look at the outdoor swimming pool areas of the Edwardian and Victorian eras. It isn’t a subject matter we’d seen covered before, and knowing nothing of Scottish outdoor pools we find it of interest and Luke has graciously shared it below with his introduction. – Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert.

 

Cellardyke Tidal Pool, East Fife, Scotland. ©Luke Brown 2014.
Cellardyke Tidal Pool, East Fife, Scotland. ©Luke Brown 2014.

 

Time And Tide Wait For No Man, by Luke Brown.

The tidal pools represent some of the last standing man made structures that do not come under scrutiny from current health and safety rules.

This is due to the period in which they were built, if built today they would be designed under the constraints imposed by present day regulations. These very rules now affect the existence of the remaining pools. They are under threat from lack of maintenance, being exposed to the harshest of elements scattered along Britain’s margins.

“A sense of superiority of English Landscape aesthetics was linked to a broader certainty that English ways were the best ways of doing things and of their natural superiority and authority over other people and places (Seymour 2000)

Britain’s sense of hierarchy over the landscape is evident up until the very edges of our coastline where the tidal swimming pools can be found, built originally for the enjoyment of newfound leisure time, and as a safe haven for swimming away from the dangers of the sea.

The structures embody the Edwardian and Victorian periods, acting as a reflection of Great Britain’s strength and power, during the reign of The British Empire. At the islands peak in 1922, Great Britain controlled almost a quarter of the Earth’s total landmass. These manmade constructions are a product and symbol of The British Empire, demonstrating England’s attitude towards controlling the land.

At present the spaces represent something very different. The tidal swimming pools now “hold an absence of order from the social laws of today that keep us in check.” (Ribas recalling Baltz) A space where freedom of expression can be celebrated, where people can make choices to act on instinct and common sense, rather than the behavioural constraints dictated upon society.

 

North Baths, Wick, North Highland, Scotland. ©Luke Brown 2014.
North Baths, Wick, North Highland, Scotland. ©Luke Brown 2014.

 

Pittenweem Tidal Pool, Fife, Scotland. ©Luke Brown 2014.
Pittenweem Tidal Pool, Fife, Scotland. ©Luke Brown 2014.

 

Step Rock, St Andrews, Fife, Scotland. ©Luke Brown 2014.
Step Rock, St Andrews, Fife, Scotland. ©Luke Brown 2014.

 

North Berwick Tidal Pool, East Lothian, Scotland. ©Luke Brown 2014.
North Berwick Tidal Pool, East Lothian, Scotland. ©Luke Brown 2014.

 

The pools are photographed on a 4×5 plate camera, a Victorian invention, during the tidal swimming pools downtime, the winter period, to show the landscape in its rawest state. A time when the tidal pools themselves struggle to survive under the harsh coastal weather conditions, battling against the typical British Winters to stay in existence.

But even these spaces have restrictions, the most prevalent limit being nature. The tide dictates the space and its use, however the ocean answers to the gravitational pull of the Moon. While the tide is in, the majority of the pools are hidden in an unforgiving dark mass, becoming un-swimmable. This natural occurrence still holds a very dominant sense of control over humans and the landscape, dictating the conditions of use, enjoyment and documentation.

“Time and tide wait for no man.” (Geoffrey Chaucer)

 

Portsoy Tidal Pool, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. ©Luke Brown 2014.
Portsoy Tidal Pool, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. ©Luke Brown 2014.

 

St. Monan's Tidal Pool, Anstruther, Fife, Scotland. ©Luke Brown 2014.
St. Monan’s Tidal Pool, Anstruther, Fife, Scotland. ©Luke Brown 2014.

 

The Trinkie, Wick, North Highlands, Scotland. ©Luke Brown 2014.
The Trinkie, Wick, North Highlands, Scotland. ©Luke Brown 2014.

 

Powfoot Tidal Pool, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. ©Luke Brown 2014.
Powfoot Tidal Pool, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. ©Luke Brown 2014.

 

Luke Brown’s photography website is here, and you can chat with him via his Twitter feed.

Tunnock’s – A chocolate Scottish institution

Tunnock, the iconic Scottish, family-owned chocolate company is headed by Boyd Tunnock CBE, the founder’s grandson, who celebrated his 80th birthday in 2012. The company was established in 1890 by Thomas Tunnock and still produces the iconic snowballs, caramel wafers, caramel logs and Tunnock’s teacakes famous all over Scotland and the world. With it’s perfect combination of nostalgia and chocolate, this instantly recognisable and increasingly popular Scottish brand is seeing record sales. Boyd Tunnock is quite a character regarded fondly by some as a present day Willy Wonka. Some of the staff have worked at the factory for 30 years.

 

Mr Boyd Tunnock, grandson of the founder of the company. - aged 80, in his office, with an image of his father above him.
Mr Boyd Tunnock, grandson of the founder of the company. – aged 80, in his office, with an image of his father, Archie Tunnock, above him, Uddingston, Scotland, March 2013
© Sophie Gerrard 2013 all rights reserved.

 

Tunnock's Caramel Wafer - with arabic writing ready for export
Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer – with arabic writing ready for export, Uddingston, Scotland, March 2013.
© Sophie Gerrard 2013 all rights reserved.

 

Mr Boyd Tunnock's tea is prepared just how he likes it.
Mr Boyd Tunnock’s tea is prepared just how he likes it., Tunnock’s factory, Uddingston, Scotland, March 2013.
© Sophie Gerrard 2013 all rights reserved.

 

Interview with Mr Boyd Tunnock, March 2013

“This is my Hornby Dublo – my train set. There’s nothing I like better than watching these biscuits go round and round, 600 a minute. At Tunnock’s we’ve been lucky – in that we’ve been making things that people want to buy.

I walk around the factory floor every morning, I kind of nibble you know, a wee bite of this, a wee bite of that, taste the cream, you know, if I’m going past the caramel, I always taste the caramel.

There’s no secret, there’s a trick maybe, the trick is to get everything right.”

The Tunnock's snowball line
The Tunnock’s snowball line, Tunnock’s factory, Uddingston, Scotland, March 2013.
© Sophie Gerrard 2013 all rights reserved.

 

Tunnock's snowballs boxed in the factory
Tunnock’s snowballs boxed in the factory, Tunnock’s factory, Uddingston, Scotland, March 2013.
© Sophie Gerrard 2013 all rights reserved.

 

The Tunnock's factory in Uddingston
The Tunnock’s factory in Uddingston, March 2013
© Sophie Gerrard 2013 all rights reserved.

 

“I originated the teacake, but the caramel wafer is probe my favorite because we make more money off it. The design we’ve got to this day in caramel wafers was not originated till 1955. It works so we haven’t really changed since, you know, way back.

My father never really said sit down and I’ll tell you about it because he was too busy looking ahead. He died when he was 86, when he was about my age he said the only thing I’m short of now is time, and he was right. During the wars he was the biggest private caterer in the Glasgow area. I’m just an amateur compared to him.

You keep trying various things, I’ve got a new idea of a biscuit, I’ve only made handmade samples so far, it’s a kind of nougat wafer biscuit. It’s a tricky thing to make.”

 

Mr Boyd Tunnock holding his notebook which contains, amoungst recipes and notes, a circle marking the perfect size of a Tunnock's teacake.
High standards. Mr Boyd Tunnock holding his notebook which contains, amoungst recipes and notes, a circle marking the perfect size of a Tunnock’s teacake biscuit, Tunnock’s factory, Uddingston, Scotland, March 2013.
© Sophie Gerrard 2013 all rights reserved.

 

Tunnock's Caramel Wafers in the Tunnock's factory in Uddingston
The unmistakable gold and red design of Tunnock’s Caramel Wafers, Tunnock’s factory, Uddingston, Scotland, March 2013.
© Sophie Gerrard 2013 all rights reserved.

 

The Tunnock's Caramel Wafer production line
One for you, one for me…. quality control on the Caramel Wafer line, Tunnock’s factory, Uddingston, Scotland, March 2013.
© Sophie Gerrard 2013 all rights reserved.

 

“We use an Italian meringue, for that perfect texture, but well, you can’t photograph any further than here I’m afraid, I can’t let you into that area.

The last 3 mornings I’ve been in about ten past 6, then I go home about half past 7 for a cup of tea, read the Herald, then about 8 o’clock then I’m out on the factory. When I go out around the factory then I’ll say to them, if you work for me you’ve got to smile. I do that you know, and they laugh. Most of the time it’s alright, you know, I’m reasonably easy to get on with. As long as you do it right.”

 

The Tunnock's Teacake production line
One for you, one for me…. quality control on the Teacake line, Tunnock’s factory, Uddingston, Scotland, March 2013.
© Sophie Gerrard 2013 all rights reserved.
The Tunnock's Teacake production line
The Tunnock’s Teacake production line, Tunnock’s factory, Uddingston, Scotland, March 2013
© Sophie Gerrard 2013 all rights reserved.

“You don’t change a winning team, it just keeps you going all the time. It comes from the top and radiates down. What happens on the factory, if everything’s right pat me on the back and if something’s wrong then kick me in the bum because I haven’t got it right, I haven’t told somebody something.

I’ve got an engineer Bob, he’s been with me 48 years. He gave me this framed poem which goes something like this…

Life’s too short for greetin, there’s things you cannae mend, so leave them be and start again the world’s no gonna end. You’ve time to plan so many things, it all depends on you, so shake yourself you wackaloon, get up and do it noo.

I think that’s it really, don’t sit still, get up and do it, try it. That’s the whole thing, business is easy, but you’ve got to be very careful. Don’t get complacent, you got to keep thinking, and keep striving for perfection, you’ll never get it but keep striving for it.”

 

Liz Cook has worked at Tunnocks for 25 years. "You have your good days and your bad days like any place but it's a good place to work, especially for Mr Boyd, he's well loved in here. I came here before I finished school. My dad was one of the first van d
Liz Cook has worked at Tunnocks for 25 years. “You have your good days and your bad days like any place but it’s a good place to work, especially for Mr Boyd, he’s well loved in here. I came here before I finished school. My dad was one of the first van drivers. Tunnock’s factory, Uddingston, Scotland, March 2013
© Sophie Gerrard 2013 all rights reserved.

 

Boys on the Tunnock's Caramel Wafer production line
Boys working on the Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer production line, Tunnock’s factory, Uddingston, Scotland, March 2013
© Sophie Gerrard 2013 all rights reserved.

 

The Tunnock's factory in Uddingston
The Tunnock’s factory in Uddingston Tunnock’s factory, Uddingston, Scotland, March 2013
© Sophie Gerrard 2013 all rights reserved.

 

 

This body of work was originally commissioned by The Telegraph Magazine and was accompanied with words by Richard Preston, see the full piece and the great on-line design and layout here.

 

 

 

The Wrestlers

“Andrew Cawley sent us his Wrestlers portfolio as a submission, and in an instant we were in agreement to run it. We haven’t seen such portraits of Scots wrestlers in recent times, if at all, and barely know how the pro-wrestling scene works and operates. That is how Andrew began, seeing a poster, wanting to find out more, and we’re glad he did. Here, in a folio from his extensive project he shares his portraits of those Scots for whom pro-wrestling is their love…” – Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert.

©Andrew Cawley 2014, all rights reserved.
©Andrew Cawley 2014, all rights reserved.

 

The Wrestlers, by Andrew Cawley.

“I began photographing The Wrestlers, in 2009. Walking home one night on Sauchiehall Street, in Glasgow, I saw a poster for a Scottish pro-wrestling event and immediately knew what great potential it had for a documentary project.

Initially what appealed to me were the obvious themes of the subject – the action, excitement, colour, the characters, and the atmosphere of the events. But soon, what I found interesting, and what I wanted to attempt to capture, was the people behind their wrestling characters. When the wrestlers step into the ring, they become a made-up, fantasised, character. But backstage, they are simply everyday people. The fans only see the wrestling persona – but I was able to see both sides of the wrestlers – the character in the ring, and the real person, backstage. And I was much more interested in taking photographs backstage, rather than the actual wrestling in the ring. I specifically didn’t really want to be taking the usual wrestling action shots – I was much more interested in the unseen – glimpses of the wrestlers out of character, that we don’t see – the person behind the mask. This wasn’t easy at first – they could be quite guarded and a little suspicious of me. But gradually I managed to capture a few images of them, out of character, as they prepared to go in to the ring.

©Andrew Cawley 2014, all rights reserved.
©Andrew Cawley 2014, all rights reserved.

 

©Andrew Cawley 2014, all rights reserved.
©Andrew Cawley 2014, all rights reserved.

 

©Andrew Cawley 2014, all rights reserved.
©Andrew Cawley 2014, all rights reserved.

 

A major part of the wrestling is the fans – they really are the heart and soul of it. So I also wanted to capture their love and passion for the sport too. So again, rather than photographing what was going on in the ring, I would spend a lot of my time with my back to the ring, photographing the fans, literally going wild. And having your back to the ring isn’t really the ideal position to be in when there are 15 stone, sweaty men being thrown over the ropes!

But, hopefully I conveyed the passion the fans have for their sport. They are people who are bored of the same old reality tv shows, and celebrity culture which bombards our lives – this is pure, raw, live entertainment for them.

©Andrew Cawley 2014, all rights reserved.
©Andrew Cawley 2014, all rights reserved.

 

©Andrew Cawley 2014, all rights reserved.
©Andrew Cawley 2014, all rights reserved.

 

The first wrestling events I went to, were held in small Glasgow venues, like the Queen Margaret Union, Bellahouston Leisure Centre, and Govan Town Hall. These venues are a far cry from the huge glitzy arenas you see on U.S. tv of the American wrestling – and this is exactly what attracted me even more to the project. I found it fascinating to see this sport, being played out at local venues, organised and attended by fans who are obsessed wrestling. It is grassroots wrestling – in Scotland. And the sheer Scottishness of it is brilliant too. The typical Glaswegian banter between the wrestlers and fans is hilarious. With myself not really being a true wrestling fan, I found this was something I could appreciate and identify with.

©Andrew Cawley 2014, all rights reserved.
©Andrew Cawley 2014, all rights reserved.

 

©Andrew Cawley 2014, all rights reserved.
©Andrew Cawley 2014, all rights reserved.

 

©Andrew Cawley 2014, all rights reserved.
©Andrew Cawley 2014, all rights reserved.

 

In those early days of attending events, crowd numbers could be very low – sometimes only 50 people may turn up. Nowadays since it has evolved into ICW (Insane Championship Wrestling), it’s popularity has spread like wild fire, with a massive online and social media following, and all events selling out, at even bigger venues. It’s been great to see them grow, and I’m happy for their success.

©Andrew Cawley 2014, all rights reserved.
©Andrew Cawley 2014, all rights reserved.

 

©Andrew Cawley 2014, all rights reserved.
©Andrew Cawley 2014, all rights reserved.

 

©Andrew Cawley 2014, all rights reserved.
©Andrew Cawley 2014, all rights reserved.

 

When I started there was only one other photographer taking pictures of them – now at their events there can be several, along with videographers – there has now been a BBC tv documentary made about them. At this point I was happy to call it a day with the project, and exhibit the work. The wrestlers and their fans made for a great documentary project – it offered a fascinating glimpse into a Scottish subculture, and provided plenty of bold images, which I hope does their love of wrestling, justice.” – Andrew Cawley.

©Andrew Cawley 2014, all rights reserved.
©Andrew Cawley 2014, all rights reserved.

 

©Andrew Cawley 2014, all rights reserved.
©Andrew Cawley 2014, all rights reserved.

 

To see more work by Andrew Cawley visit his website, or send him a message on Twitter!

 

Yes, No.

Following on from the series of photographs I posted last week, showing people out campaigning either for or against Scottish independence for the referendum which will be held on September 18th this year, I show below some more images from the same series.

I’m intrigued to see portraits of the people for whom their belief and interest in politics and their wish for their country’s destiny is so strong that they volunteer to share newsletters through doors, or go out knocking on doors canvassing for support.

Below are some of those people whom I’ve met so far.

– Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert.

 

Andrene, Better Together campaigner, Glasgow. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2014, all rights reserved.
Andrene, Better Together campaigner, Glasgow. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2014, all rights reserved.

 

Yes Scotland campaigner, Blantyre, Glasgow. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2014, all rights reserved.
Yes Scotland campaigner, Blantyre, Glasgow. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2014, all rights reserved.

 

Yes Scotland campaigner, Glasgow. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2014, all rights reserved.
Yes Scotland campaigner, Glasgow. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2014, all rights reserved.

 

Dave, Yes Scotland campaigner, Glasgow. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2014, all rights reserved.
Dave, Yes Scotland campaigner, Glasgow. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2014, all rights reserved.

 

Olive and Matt, Better Together campaigners, Glasgow. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2014, all rights reserved.
Olive and Matt, Better Together campaigners, Glasgow. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2014, all rights reserved.

 

Alex, Better Together campaigner, Glasgow. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2014, all rights reserved.
Alex, Better Together campaigner, Glasgow. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2014, all rights reserved.

 

Patrick, Yes Scotland campaigner, Glasgow. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2014, all rights reserved.
Patrick, Yes Scotland campaigner, Glasgow. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2014, all rights reserved.

 

Yes Scotland campaigner, Glasgow. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2014, all rights reserved.
Yes Scotland campaigner, Glasgow. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2014, all rights reserved.

 

Margaret, Yes Scotland campaigner, Glasgow. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2014, all rights reserved.
Margaret, Yes Scotland campaigner, Glasgow. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2014, all rights reserved.

 

Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert’s photography website can be viewed here, he can be contact via his website, or on Twitter.

 

Regeneration

Over here at Document Scotland we enjoy the work of Iain Sarjeant, who is based up north, a tad north of Inverness. But Iain’s location doesn’t stop him from wandering the streets of Scotland capturing his quietly observed moments. We’ve previously run some of Iain’s work from his ‘Out of the Ordinary’ project, but here we showcase some of his newer work from Leith, Edinburgh, which has recently been released as a small book in a limited edition of 150. – Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert

 

Regeneration, by Iain Sarjeant.

'Regeneration', ©Iain Sarjeant 2014, all rights reserved.
‘Regeneration’, ©Iain Sarjeant 2014, all rights reserved.

 

'Regeneration', © Iain Sarjeant 2014, all rights reserved.
‘Regeneration’, © Iain Sarjeant 2014, all rights reserved.

 

“Leith is the port and waterfront of the city of Edinburgh, and like many similar areas in other cities it has undergone major redevelopment in recent years. The landscape has a strong industrial and historical feel, but dramatic regeneration has seen office blocks, shopping complexes and luxury flats radically change the skyline. For me, this contrast makes it a fascinating place to wander and observe – a landscape of constant change, with diverse architectural styles and building types alongside open areas of land in transition.

This series of photographs, taken between 2010 and 2013, aims to explore the effects of these rapid changes on the landscape of Leith.

It wasn’t a body of work that was pre-conceived. I initially visited Leith as part of my Out of the Ordinary project, quite early on. I spent a morning there just wandering and was really taken by the diversity of interest. It struck me that there was a slightly different story, or subject, to capture here – a landscape in constant transition with industrial, historical, residential and commercial all sitting side-by-side. Here was a traditional, industrial location re-defining itself as a modern, dynamic, vibrant place. For me, this created fascinating visual interest so I decided to work on a separate project to explore Leith in a bit more detail.

I visited frequently between 2010 and 2013, and found many changes each time – quite a few of the scenes in the book no longer exist, and I like this historical element to the project also.” – Iain Sarjeant.

 

'Regeneration', © Iain Sarjeant 2014, all rights reserved.
‘Regeneration’, © Iain Sarjeant 2014, all rights reserved.

 

'Regeneration', © Iain Sarjeant 2014, all rights reserved.
‘Regeneration’, © Iain Sarjeant 2014, all rights reserved.

 

'Regeneration', © Iain Sarjeant 2014, all rights reserved.
‘Regeneration’, © Iain Sarjeant 2014, all rights reserved.

 

'Regeneration', © Iain Sarjeant 2014, all rights reserved.
‘Regeneration’, © Iain Sarjeant 2014, all rights reserved.

 

'Regeneration', © Iain Sarjeant 2014, all rights reserved.
‘Regeneration’, © Iain Sarjeant 2014, all rights reserved.

 

'Regeneration', © Iain Sarjeant 2014, all rights reserved.
‘Regeneration’, © Iain Sarjeant 2014, all rights reserved.

 

'Regeneration', © Iain Sarjeant 2014, all rights reserved.
‘Regeneration’, © Iain Sarjeant 2014, all rights reserved.

 

To view more photography work by Iain Sarjeant please visit his website.

Iain Sarjeant’s book of the above work, ‘Regeneration’ is available to buy via Brown Owl Press, priced £8.00.

Sandy Carson

 

Sandy Carson has had a varied life. He studied media and communication studies before dropping out to be in a punk band and to go on tour as a teenager. After a few years he quit the band and moved the U.S. to pursue a BMX career and turned professional a couple of years after.

“I was lucky enough to tour the world with my bike riding and taught myself how to use my camera during my travels.”

Although in recent years he has become a professional photographer, he is still as obsessed by bikes as he was when he was younger. Last year on a return trip to Scotland to see his family he also undertook a massive bike ride with his girlfriend.

“I took the other half to the homeland this summer, to meet my family, re-exploring Scotland. I haven’t lived there in two decades and at times I feel like a tourist in my own country. So, with fresh sets of eyes, we set about it on bike and foot. If it’s not from Scotland, it really is crap!”

Enjoy some more of Sandy’s work at www.sandycarson.com

 

laura_forest_bike1
Forest © Sandy Carson all rights reserved

 

portree_crossing
Portree Crossing © Sandy Carson all rights reserved

 

perfect_man2
Perfect Man © Sandy Carson all rights reserved

 

laura-focus
© Sandy Carson all rights reserved

 

eilan_brellas
© Sandy Carson all rights reserved

 

hedges_pole1
Hedges © Sandy Carson all rights reserved

 

heelan_coos2
© Sandy Carson all rights reserved

 

laura_legs1
© Sandy Carson all rights reserved

 

dolly_pipes
© Sandy Carson all rights reserved

 

angus_mac3
© Sandy Carson all rights reserved

 

snail2
© Sandy Carson all rights reserved

 

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