Glasgow Street Level Photoworks | Exchange Programme

This exhibition is part of an exciting exchange programme between Photofusion and Streetlevel Photoworks in Glasgow. The collaboration sees two artists from Glasgow exhibit in Photofusion’s space, whilst two of our London artists’ work is featured in Streetlevel’s Trongate space. We are excited to work together and consider the connections and parallels between our two cities.

The work of D. Wiafe and Mark Aitken will be shown in Glasgow, and work by Arpita Shah and Chris Leslie in London.

Chris Leslie’s Disappearing Glasgow documents the changing face of Glasgow’s built environment, as many of the high-rise tower blocks that once dominated the city skyline have been blown down and demolished.  For over a decade Leslie has been chronicling the transformation of Glasgow’s post-war housing infrastructure and the communities that lived there, now dispersed throughout the city. His photographs serve both as a striking visual record of Glasgow’s changing social architecture at a time of regeneration and a lasting testament to the people who once called these communities home.

Arpita Shah’s Dear Green Place explores Glasgow’s teen culture through portraiture and was developed as part of Shah’s artist residency at Street Level Photoworks. Drawing from particular Scottish enlightenment paintings that depict the young in nature, Dear Green Place explores each teen’s relationship to their environment. As they traverse through the pockets of Glasgow’s urban green, each intimate portrait gives us a glimpse into transient nature of adolescence and various identities and vulnerabilities inherent in it.

Chris is BAFTA Scotland New Talent award winning Photographer and filmmaker and is widely acknowledged as the most consistent chronicler of the city’s recent history. Disappearing Glasgow  is a long-term multimedia project documenting an era of spectacular change in Glasgow through photography and video. He has documented stories across Eastern Europe, The Balkans, Africa and Asia as well as in his home city of Glasgow.

Arpita is a photographic artist and educator based in Edinburgh. She works between photography and film, exploring the fields where culture and identity meet. As an India-born artist, Shah spent an earlier part of her life living between India, Ireland and the Middle East before settling in the UK. This migratory experience is reflected in her practice, which often focuses on the notion of home, belonging and shifting cultural identities. Shah’s work has been exhibited internationally, including at the Detroit Center of Contemporary Photography (2013); Tramway in Glasgow (2014); Focus Festival in Mumbai, India (2015); Chobi Mela IX in Dhaka, Bangladesh (2017); and Autograph APB in London (2018). Her major solo exhibition ‘Nalini’, funded through support from Creative Scotland, is premiered at Street Level from 9th February to 7th April 2019, and also at An Lanntair in Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis in October 2019. She is co-founder of Focàs Scotland, an initiative which supports local and international emerging photographers.

Showing in Glasgow:

D. Wiafe’s 4pm In The Endz is a collaborative project created with the young people of Pollards Hill, a housing estate in the borough of Merton. Inspired by a song written by local rapper Teks Sinatra, together with Wiafe, young people from the area explored the turn from day to night and the accompanying suspicion of criminal mischief that falls on the doings of the estates young inhabitants. Made over a six month run of weekly workshops and presented in a mix of video, illustrations and photography, the work questions the role that stigma, hearsay and truth have played in the representation of the area to those who reside within and the community outside.

Mark Aitken’s Sanctum Ephemeral explores the theme of home ,based in his own housing estate in Brixton, which is facing issues of gentrification.

“I have pressing conversations with neighbours. We shed frustration. The impositions are beyond our control. Proposals beyond comprehension.

There’s nothing wrong with my house. Why do they want to knock it down?

People let me into their homes. I hear stories; gather evidence. Some of it makes sense. Some of it is troubling. The rooms, the memories and the inhabitants reflect each other.”

D. Wiafe is an artist and associate lecturer at Coventry and Hertfordshire Universities. Curious about the public perception of inner-city youth, his work has found him immersed in various communities, working alongside teens to present an unseen portrait of the adolescent experience. This has taken him from creating staged tableaux with grime’s early pioneers, to acting as lead photographic mentor on the award-winning youth platform ‘The Cut’. Working across installation, video and publication, he has produced Arts Council funded projects in partnership with Autograph, UAL, Photofusion and the Southbank Centre.

Mark Aitken is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and photographer, radio host and head of a non-profit company that’s produced over 40 films. Mark lectured film practice at Goldsmiths for 11 years and continues to teach at Central St Martins. Mark holds a PhD by Publication entitled Emotional truth in documentary making from Goldsmiths and is based in London and Barcelona.

© Chris Leslie/Institute. Disappearing Glasgow is exclusively distributed by INSTITUTE