GOVAN/GDANSK: Michal Szlaga, Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert, Nick Hedges, Raymond Depardon. Curatorial collaboration on the exhibition with Street Level Photoworks

Activity: OtherTypes of Public engagement and outreach - Festival/Exhibition


Curatorial collaboration between Prof Katarzyna Kosmala and Malcolm Dickson (Director, Street Level Photoworks). This international exhibition is linking the shipyards of Govan in Glasgow and Gdansk in Poland and their post-industrial decline and resilience in the work of four photographers: Michal Szlaga (Poland), Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert (Scotland) Nick Hedges (England) and Raymond Depardon (France). Michal Szlaga (born 1978), graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk. Since 2000, he has returned obsessively to the subject of the Gdansk shipyards, regarded as the place of the birth, rise and fall of the Solidarity (Solidarnosc) labour movement and an example of Poland's once great shipbuilding industry. ?Stocznia/Shipyard – Documents of Loss' is the outcome of a 15 year project in which Szlaga has documented the buildings of the Gdansk Shipyard, their gradual demolition and replacement. A collaboration with the Wyspa Institute of Art, located on the premises of the Gdansk shipyard, permitted the photographer to present his work in important contemporary art exhibitions (Dock Guardians, 2005; Again and Again 1989– 2009, 2009). For Szlaga, the shipyard represents a dynamic landscape of industrial architecture reflecting a people and their history, the images loaded with memories of the turbulent anti-communist revolution. Raymond Depardon (b. 1942) began taking photographs on his family farm in Garet at the age of 12. He spent the 60s and 70s working as a reporter for various agencies, making documentary films alongside his photographic career, before joining Magnum in 1978. He received the Grand Prix National de la Photographie in 1991 and a César Award for his film Délits Flagrants in 1995. Since 2000, his work has been part of exhibitions by The Maison Européenne de la Photographie and Fondation Cartier. In 2006 he was invited to be artistic director of the Rencontres Internationales d'Arles. He has made eighteen feature-length films and published forty-seven books. In 1980, Depardon was commissioned by the Sunday Times to record aspects of Glasgow: the evocative results are now lauded as telling an unremittingly bleak portrayal of urban deprivation and decay. Nick Hedges (b. 1943) studied photography at Birmingham College of Art between 1965-1968. He subsequently worked for Shelter, the National Campaign for the Homeless, in London from 1968-1972 as a photographer and researcher, producing exhibitions and publications. In 1968 Shelter commissioned Hedges to document the abject living conditions experienced in slum housing in the UK, including Glasgow. The images here are from the seminal and humanistic body of work A Life Worth Living, which echoes Depardon's work in its depiction of children happily at play against the backdrop of the Govan cranes, evidence of a community spirit unthwarted by the harsh realities of life. After working as a freelance photographer for, amongst others, MENCAP, CSV, the Royal Town Planning Institute, the BBC and Penguin Books, he returned to the Midlands to complete a 2 year photographic documentation of factory work exhibited and published as the book Born to Work in 1982. Hedges was subject leader in Photography at the University of Wolverhampton in 1988 until 2002. Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert grew up in Scotland, where on his 13th birthday he received the gift of a camera. He is now a UK based freelance photographer for editorial, corporate and NGO clients, his work appearing in Time, National Geographic, Italian Geo, Le Figaro, The Guardian, The Sunday Times, and many others. His work has taken him to over 70 countries, as far flung as Antarctica and Outer Mongolia: in recent years he has returned to Scotland after several years in Japan. He is a member of the photography collective Document Scotland which was established in 2012 to document Scotland at a critical juncture in its history. Café Royal Books have published a number of his projects, including Klondykers in Shetland 1994, Nelson Mandela, Glasgow 1993, North Sea Fishing and The Common Riding. Sutton Hibbert has also self-published the books The Roma Portraits and Unsullied and Untarnished. Shot over a few days for editorial clients, Shipbuilding from the mid-1990s records a critical time at the Kvaerner shipyards in Govan - capturing the monumentality of this industry and the people who drove it. The exhibition 'Govan/Gdansk' and the programme of events around the exhibition are organised in association with an RSE - funded research network on Regeneration and Waterfront Heritage Zones, exploring participatory approaches to waterfront regeneration in urban spaces in transition in Northern European cities. The main case studies of regeneration focus on Govan and wider Glasgow (Scotland) and Gdansk (Poland), each of which are dealing with the consequences of the post-industrial demise of the shipbuilding industry, trying to find a transition into a new economy and community. The exhibition ?Govan / Gdansk' is a partnership between Street Level Photoworks and the University of the West of Scotland and is supported by the Polish Cultural Institute, the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Edinburgh, The Royal Society of Edinburgh, and The Scottish Parliament.
Period3 Jun 201631 Jul 2016
Event titleGOVAN / GDANSK
Event typeExhibition
LocationGlasgow , United KingdomShow on map