- 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.