On 29 October 1991 , the people at Wester Halles rose up and . . . took photographs. Issued with disposable cameras, 200 locals joined eight protessionals in a day-long photo shoot at everyday lite on the Edinburgh estate. Tucked away beneath an escalator In the Wester Hailes shopping centre, this exhibition is the result.
Faraway lrom the clean white walls and black polo-necks ol the archetypal photography gallery, the uniumisbed
The walls are covered in pictures - some black and white and others colour -ol everything lrorn local shopkeepers and men-at-work to children playing and council tenants watching television. Explains project coordinator Bob Hoon: ‘It was a chance tinally tor people to represent their own lives.’
Most ol the images are detlantly
3 upbeat. Alongside quotes deplorlng the
drugs and violence, the pictures jump out with spontaneity and olten a sense at humour. Hidden away inside a
room is as unattected as the snapshots. I doghouse stamped ‘Beware ol Dog’,
‘. . .\ h s ',; .- . n if. f ‘ .3. ‘3‘; , t ‘S ‘25.} ‘ '~ " a .. . . t
Lothlan catering stalttake a break in A Day in the Lite ot Westerliailes
one pooch is shown sucking a child's dummy. Hoon isn’t surprised by the contrasts. ‘The negative things are easier to talk about than to photograph. And the positive images also rellect the hope and strength there is here.’
Already, the exhibition is a talking point in Wester Hailes. People who’ve never been near a mainstream gallery are popping in and returning with several triends in low. The lively, multi-screen slide show is a real crowd-puller, but punters are also drawn to the still-lite depictions ot a reality they know only too well.
There are plans tor a national tour and a permanent photographic studio, but right now all eyes are trained on the present. Debate is the tirst step towards change and linen is delighted that the denizens ot Wester Hailes are chattering about the status quo with renewed vigour. ‘Once people start talking and thinking about the conditions in which they live’ he says, ‘we can start looking at what we can do to make things better.’ (Carl Honore)
A Day in the Lite ol Wester Halles Is at the Wester Hailes shopping centre until Frit May.
An exhibition by jim Harold
PHOTOGRAPHY GALLERY 8: WORKSHOP
279-28l HIGH STREET GLASGOW
The showing of this work has been sponsored by SOLAGIASS
Street Level is subsidsed by the Scottish Arts Council and Glasgow District Council
THE HIGHLAND GAME ,
25 April-23 May Tues-Sat 12-5.30pm
Pg P o n r r o l. l o g a l l P r y Portfolio Gallery 43 Candlcmaker Row Edinburgh Tel & Fax 0312201911
SUDSIOISCU by the Scottish Arts Council
The List 24 April - 7 May 1992 49