Seldom Seen

My trusty camera, and the flyer for the Somewhereto- project

I am holding my very first photography exhibition in the Glasgow DNA Hub,  thanks to the kind people that have organised the space, as well as the efforts of the Somewhereto_ Project currently happening across the UK. The exhibition entitled ‘Seldom Seen’ consists of five photographs of abandoned or unused buildings and structures in the West of Scotland, mainly in the Greater Glasgow area. Each one of the views offered in each photograph may be hidden in the traditional sense, by way of it being abandoned or unused, or be more obvious and open, but being ‘hidden in plain sight’. The aim of the pictures is to get people to consider the stories and history behind these abandoned places and the people who may have used them (or still do, in some cases). In addition I’m hoping that the project may draw attention to some of the things that these spaces could be used for, and particularly hope that with funding I could go on to hold photography workshops and potentially use an currently disused space somewhere in Glasgow to allow amateur photographers as well as more established photographers to display their photography for free.

Each post will provide information about one of the five photographs I’m displaying at the exhibition, with a QR code provided in the description of each image at the event to allow people to easily get more information about the photographs on display and the context and history of these places (and, if I’m being honest, get people to visit my website).

I was a bit lost at first in terms of knowing where to get prints, frames, and importantly how to prepare my photographs for printing, and had to do a lot of Googling to find out, and really could have done with one resource that provides all that info and makes a bit less scary. So after the exhibition I’m going to put together a post explaining the process and to provide info for other people in my situation in the hope that it’ll help a bit, so if you’re interested stay tuned for that.

So, I hope you enjoy the posts, and if you happen to live in the Glasgow area come check out the exhibition, which runs this weekend from the 16th to the 17th of August in DNA Hub at 12-16 south Frederick Street, just off George Square in Merchant City, Glasgow.

 

 

Arran and Goatfell

Some pictures from a recent trip to the Isle of Arran off the West Coast of Scotland. We spent a couple of days on the Island, near my home town of Prestwick. Despite it being so close to where I grew up this was the first time I had properly climbed Goatfell, the highest peak on the Island. Admittedly, we got a little lost (twice) but eventually made it to the summit of North Goatfell. We were a bit late to climb the extra 100 metres to Goatfell proper, but as it turned out the delays meant we were at the summit only an hour or two before sunset, so were treated to a beautiful view.

This picture was taken from roughly 2,500 ft above sea level, looking North West. The ridge in the foreground is The Saddle. In the distance is Argyle, and on the right you can just see the Isle of Bute. I’m not great at reading maps, but as far as I can tell the mountain ridge in the very far distance about a third in from the right is the start of the mountain range at Glencoe.

The Saddle

Another shot of the top of The Saddle ridge with the sunset, looking slightly more west than the previous picture. We were very lucky to get this view I think, and we couldn’t hang about for long as we didn’t fancy doing the two hour trek down the mountain in the dark (probably more given that we’re amateurs at this).

Mountain tops sunset

And finally, the ascent to Goatfell from the path that leads up to the summit from the village of Corrie. On the left is Goatfell itself, and on the right is North Goatfell with the path leading up to it, where the previous two pictures were taken.

Goatfell

My First Exhibition: “Seldom Seen” DNA Hub Glasgow, 16th-18th August

Obligatory shot of a piece of cake (taken at DNA Hub of course!)

Obligatory shot of a piece of cake (taken at DNA Hub of course!)

I am very happy to announce that this weekend, Friday the 16th to Sunday the 18th of August, I will be putting on my first photography exhibition courtesy of the wonderful people at DNA Hub Glasgow and Somewhereto_’s re:store [the high street heist] project. The project involves reclaiming empty shops across the UK’s high streets and inviting young people aged 16-25 (I just made it) to use the space.

After the launch of the London store on the 18th of July DNA Hub Glasgow, a pop-up shared arts space in the Merchant City, opened at 12-16 South Frederick Street on the 30th of July. DNA Hub has so far hosted an eclectic range of events, including a night showcasing bands from Glasgow’s up and coming music scene; Photovoices – a participatory project giving the young people of Scotland a voice through photography; a pop up cake boutique; a live comic book art installation; design speed dating aimed at skill swapping and artistic development, Our Founding Daughters – a project showcasing Scotland’s most talented female fashion photographers, and Insect Eats Pop Up, a food project aimed at challenging the way we eat and exploring the sustainability of food, as well as several other events and ongoing projects.

My project ‘Seldom Seen’ brings together several years of urban and abandoned (or ‘urbex’ – urban exploration) photography around Glasgow and the West of Scotland – focusing not just on hidden or abandoned buildings and spaces but also on some of the more obvious buildings and structures which we see every day but never truly stop to think about, hinting at the ‘hidden in plain sight’ element of some of the West of Scotland’s spaces, structures and architecture.

The aim of the project is to encourage people to consider the social history behind some of the places I have photographed as well as the lives and stories of the people who may have lived or worked there, or even those who may have just visited these spaces in their abandoned state. The project also aims to highlight and encourage a consideration of what these spaces could potentially be used for in the future, much in the same way that the Somewhereto_’s re:store project has used empty shops as pop up arts spaces, and in many ways, although I have been photographing locations like the ones featured in the exhibition for several years, the Somewhereto_ project has inspired me to use my photography for this purpose and helped consolidate my thoughts about both the ‘hidden’ places I explore and those which are ‘hidden in plain sight’ which I see almost every day.

My hopes are that, pending funding and the help of others, this initial exhibition can grow into something which allows me to help other amateur photographers develop their photography skills through free photography workshops, potentially using some of the abandoned spaces I’ve came across in Glasgow, as well as encouraging others to go out and find such places and photograph them. It might be a bit ambitious, but given the limited number of free arts spaces, the project could go on to help develop more spaces for use by other artists, musicians, photographers, designers or anyone else who needs a space to do what they want to do. As well as providing an opportunity for other people like me I hope my project can go on to help draw attention to and ultimately utilise some of the many empty or abandoned buildings and spaces which otherwise might go unnoticed and eventually be lost to urban decay.

My photography will be on display from 10am on Friday the 16th of August to Sunday the 18th at the DNA Hub at 12-16 South Frederick Street, Merchant City, Glasgow, and I’ll be about on the Friday if anyone fancies a chat.

If you can’t make it along between the 16th and 18th then pop in some other time this month and see some of the other great stuff going on at the DNA Hub, which is running until the 30th of August.