New Documentary Photography from Scotland & Wales

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Photographers from two collectives, one based in Scotland the other in Wales, have teamed up to produce an exhibition exploring the identity of the two countries. Common Ground: New Documentary Photography from Scotland & Wales is on show at Street Level Photoworks, Glasgow.
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Stephen McLaren, is one of four members of Document Scotland, and his series, Scotia Nova, explores the country, with an eye on the joyous, rather than some of the negativity he found surrounding the referendum debate.
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Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert pictured people attending the summer Common Riding festivals of towns in the Scottish Borders.
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He said he was intrigued by the history of the festivals and the commitment of the people who cherish their town and its traditions, and for whom the festivals and horseback rideouts are a major focal point of the year in these Border towns.
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In 1996, Colin McPherson was commissioned by the Independent to photograph the demolition of the Ravenscraig steelworks in Lanarkshire, Scotland. At the time he made a promise to himself to return to the area in the future and document what he found.
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His project, Phoenix: The fall and rise of Ravenscraig, does just that, picturing the landscape as it is now and meeting those who used to work at the site.
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Sophie Gerrard's work is entitled Scottish Sweet Sixteen as for the first time in a UK political vote, individuals who turn 16 on or before 18 September 2014 are eligible to vote in the forthcoming Scottish independence referendum.
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Some describe the referendum as motivating them to become interested in politics for the first time in their lives. Others are unsure and nervous of how to vote, uncertain of what to think or of whether they will vote at all.
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The four photographers from the Welsh collection, A Fine Beginning, include Abbie Trayler-Smith whose series The Big O explores obesity and the insecurity of self-image during those formative teenage years.
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Welsh composer and actor Ivor Novello grew up within an arm's reach of photographer Jack Latham's home, and one of his songs, We’ll Gather Lilacs, was used as the basis for this work. Latham said: "After leaving Wales I feel more and more distant from the place I called home for so long. The streets have changed, people have moved on and life continues without my presence."
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A Line Runs Through Us by Gawain Barnard uses the abandoned railways that at one time connected the thriving townships of the Rhondda to explore the remaining communities and how they’ve evolved.
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The series Rutherglen by James O Jenkins revolves around his family's history in engineering. Common Ground can be seen at Street Level Photoworks, Glasgow, until 19 October 2014.

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