Portrait Salon exhibition January 2014

Following on from the success of the Document Scotland Portrait Salon event at Stills Gallery in Edinburgh – we are delighted that the first ever printed Portrait Salon exhibition will take place from January 10th 2014 at new venue FUSE Art Space in Bradford.

The exhibition features a cross section of the best contemporary portrait photographers from around the world and, we’re very pleased to say,  includes an image by Document Scotland’s Sophie Gerrard.

Sophie’s image was taken in Yangon, Myanmar last year.

“This photograph was taken one morning very early whist going for a walk around the colonial areas of Yangon, Myanmar. As I’ve seen in many asian cities, locals get up early, avoiding the heat of the day, and do their exercises in public. In Yangon was no different, I was there during the monsoon, it was incredibly hot and humid, early morning breezes were a lucky catch first thing in the day, and most people made for the water front. People’s exercises weren’t restricted to parks and open spaces in this part of town, many people simply found a spot on the pavement, set down their radio and started their routines. This man completely ignored me as a took a few frames with my medium format camera. I sought eye contact the whole time, with a smile ready and a gesture to ask – can I take your photo? But he stared straight ahead, never moving his head, transfixed on a point in the distance, slowly lifting and bending his legs, one after the other, listening to the crackling and high pitched squealing music coming out of his radio.”


A man does his morning exercises at 5am, with his radio through the streets of downtown Yangon, Myanmar.  © Sophie Gerrard, all rights reserved.

A man does his morning exercises at 5am, with his radio in downtown Yangon, Myanmar.
© Sophie Gerrard, all rights reserved.


“Just shortly after taking this peaceful image, after walking a little further, I came across a group of elderly women doing tai chi on an overpass over a busy main road, whilst busy commuter buses trundled past underneath, belching out black fumes. They smiled and waved at me as I took their pictures. Everyone had a smile, even as another bus roared past and we all coughed away the fumes. The squeaky little radio kept singing, and the old ladies kept moving. Funny place to do Tai Chi I thought. Funny place to take photographs they might have thought.”

Tai Chi on an overpass in downtown Yangon © Sophie Gerrard all rights reserved

Tai Chi on an overpass in downtown Yangon
© Sophie Gerrard all rights reserved

Early morning exercises on Inya Lake, Yangon, Myanmar © Sophie Gerrard all rights reserved

Early morning exercises on Inya Lake, Yangon, Myanmar
© Sophie Gerrard all rights reserved


Portrait Salon 2013 at Fuse

Opening party: Friday 10th January 2014, 7pm
Exhibition: 10th January 2014 – 8th March 2014
Artist talk: Saturday 15th February 2014, 3pm

Almost 1,000 images from 330 photographers were entered into Portrait Salon 2013, with the final 42 images chosen by three judges: photographer Abbie Trayler-Smith, Harry Hardie from HERE Press, and Jim Stephenson from Miniclick Talks. The result is a fascinating illustration of the diverse challenges associated with good portraiture.


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12.11.13 – Document Scotland presents…. Portrait Salon

What is a portrait? A person, a look, a gaze, a moment, a superficial facade or a glimpse of raw honesty, something beautiful, something shocking. It can be all these things and more….

Document Scotland are delighted to team up with our good friends Portrait Salon to host the launch event of Portrait Salon 2013 at the ever welcoming Stills Gallery in Edinburgh on Tuesday the 12th November from 6:30pm. Please join us for an entertaining evening of photography, beers and good conversation. At some point during the evening there will also be a live link up to the several simultaneous Portrait Salon events being held all over the UK in London, Leeds, Brighton and Cardiff.

Document Scotland presents... Portrait Salon image

Portrait Salon is a form of Salon des Refusés – an exhibition of works rejected from a juried art show – which has a long tradition as a fringe way of showcasing artists’ work that may otherwise go unseen. Devised by Carole Evans and James O Jenkins, Portrait Salon aims to show the best of the unselected entries from the annual National Portrait Gallery Photographic Portrait Prize. We figure that, out of the 6000+ rejected entries, there are excellent portraits which deserve to be seen.

This year’s panel of judges selecting the best of the rejected images were: Harry Hardie from HERE Press, photographer Abbie Trayler-Smith, and Jim Stephenson, co-founder of Miniclick Talks in Brighton. It’s bound to be a good show.

Both the Document Scotland Seeing Ourselves newspaper will be for sale as will the new Portrait Salon newspaper. Beyond Words  specialist retailer of photographic books, will also be joining us.

We’d love to see you there. Please follow this link to BOOK your place.




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