Colour is one of the main building blocks on which my relationship to photography is based. It amazes me all the time because it can be found everywhere. It is inherent. Symbolic in its own way on many levels but fundamentally for me, colour always signposts me to people. Wherever the human species passes, we leave a trail of colour in our wake. Not always in a good way, but more often than not, in a surprising way.
In the last few weeks walking the drives and closes of Dennistoun, I have seen colour in more unexpected ways. In the forefront of my mind over the last while are questions of Dennistoun’s identity. On the surface I have been fascinated by the image of a changed landscape. There is visible disfunction in the area’s graffiti, litter and disused spaces. On a rainy day, Dennistoun can look grey. But look a little closer and there are signs that life is stable and vibrant. The little surprises of colour are all around and give a more profound flavour of the area than a birds eye view. But like all good things, you have to slow down to notice them.
Stories and storytelling are at the heart of our project. Across this body of work there is a story more universal about community and our society as a whole. We are interested in how basic habits cease, maintain or morph as an area changes. Rather than looking always at the bigger picture of Dennistoun’s changing landscape, we have found great significance in smaller, domestic rituals like washing and conversation. These can only be found in individuals though, and so we are spending a lot of time in Dennistoun meeting and talking with people.
Last week we attended a terrific Storytelling (&pizza) night at the locally legendary Coia’s Cafe. The night was organised as part of Representing Dennistoun and led by seasoned storyteller Wendy Wolfson. The night was a chance to hear stories told, but more importantly, to contribute your own. As Wendy was the only accomplished and official storyteller, the content of the night was up to the audience so, confident or not, everyone stood up and shared their stories of Dennistoun. It was inspiring to see people speak, some for the first time, but what made a real impact was to hear how many people had strong and significant stories about one area.
We stood up to share our own stories and some info on Washing Lines and received a great response. There was a lot of curiosity about how our outdoor washing lines are being used and a lot of discussion about our own routines and habits. In the next week we are hoping to meet even more people from all walks of life. The conversation continues…
Welcome to Washing Lines! We are creating a photography project with a community at its heart. We will be working over the next 2 months to produce portraits with Dennistoun residents that will form part of a bigger commentary about this special area of Glasgow. This project is all about our stories, our community and our washing. The final body of work will be exhibited as part of Glasgow Open House in a local laundrette in Dennistoun from May 1st.
This blog will be our diary or activity over the coming weeks in the run up to the final exhibition at Whitehill Laundrette. We are looking forward to meeting so many people and learning their stories and finding a way to tell them through photographs.
Please drop us an email, leave a comment or share this page. We would love to have as much involvement as we can.