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Showing posts from July, 2018

Essay: Buckham, Moberg, MacDonald, Three Aerial Photographs

A city at once in mist, smog and sunlight, waters winding through snow and past ancient pine trees, twenty-two sheep in a fort in the ocean, these are the gifts of aerial vision to be found today in Edinburgh’s galleries. It is festival time and there are three significant photography exhibitions running concurrently. Planes Trains and Automobiles at the National Portrait Gallery, In Focus at City Art Centre and The Days Never Seem the Same at Stills. Each of these exhibitions features at least one aerial photograph of note: Aerial View of Edinburgh (circa. 1920) by Alfred G. Buckham, Braided river and ancient pines, Glen Feshie, Cairngorms(1988) by Patricia MacDonald and Sheep Fort, Rusk Holm (circa. 1978) by Gunnie Moberg. All three photographs can be easily found online, but in the space of an afternoon and within a short walking distance all three can be viewed first hand. This brief essay is an encouragement to walk that walk and to look carefully whilst considering the specifi…

Exhibition Review: Steven Berkoff, Gorbals 1966, Street Level Photoworks

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In 1966 a young man stood by the Citizens’ Theatre with a hand held camera and began photographing the streets of old Gorbals and the people who lived there. The series of photographs made by Steven Berkoff “over a period of a week or two” was the latest attempt by a long line of photographers to document the “appalling decay” of the area. It was in fact a hopeful period of regeneration following the Housing Act (Scotland) of 1954 that required councils to undertake slum clearances. Everything Berkoff photographed lay within ten minutes walk of the Citizens. 
In 1868 a young man stood by the Tolbooth Steeple with a large camera on a tripod and began photographing the streets and closes of old Glasgow and the people who lived there. The series of photographs made by Thomas Annan over the next three years was the world’s first serious attempt at social documentary photography. It was in fact a hopeful period of regeneration following the 1866 City of Glasgow Improvement Act that introduc…