Two Glasgow-based photographers are presenting their new work in a unique exhibition, held in a Pollokshields, Glasgow tenement garden.
Brian Hartley is a hugely succesful photographer, whose work encompasses not just photography but also multi-disciplinary work, combing design, visual art and live performance of theatre and dance, from across the UK to China with his acclaimed project We Dance, Wee Groove.
Dylan Lombard is an emerging photographer, still in his teens, who has a rare condition called MDP and is deaf and autistic, giving him a unique perspective on life. His work is picking up heat from across the world, and he has launched his own website.
A sense of movement and energy permeates throughout the exhibition, in spite of images of closed buildings, roads and empty spaces. Lombard’s photographs tell ambiguous stories where the viewer can fill in the blanks – for example, the usually bustling SEC venue, reduced to just one figure walking past; a shuttered party supply shop and a man hurrying in the opposite direction. Taken in the Shawlands area of Glasgow in the daytime, Lombard often waited to capture just the right moment, and he prefers working in monochrome. As he explains: “Black and white brings in more shadows. I like looking at the vulnerability of people against the large scale of the buildings”.
Hartley’s approach here is also highly distinct. He worked at night, all around the city, as a means of recalibrating places – with often unexpected results. He is open to spontaneity, shoots in vibrant colour, and says of the process: “Chance is a big thing, but also drifting through the city-
there’s that sense of no destination.” This is evinced in his photograph of a cyclist, reduced to a streak and casting an eerie vapour trail effect. There’s the mysterious lone, immaculate, chic red chair in a deserted spot – the ultimate in minimalism. Or the incident in Kelvingrove park in February of this year, where a large group of people gathered together for an impromptu sledging party in the snow, despite lockdown rules. His picture shows the flurry of wild activity, looking like some kind of surreal new night time sport.
The display of the work is fundamental to this exhibition – photographs are displayed on walls, garden sheds, a tree and even a washing line! This inventive way of doing the exhibition reinforces the sense of home, community and resilience in the time of need, when life feels like it’s on pause. These beautiful, poignant images represent not only time to reflect, but also to rebuild, cherish each other, and pull together when things seem lost. All of the images on display are thoughtful, hopeful and, if not indicative of “the new normal”, then perhaps, more of an alternative – a spotlight on creating new possibilties.
Stills of a Lockdown City – Brian Hartley and Dylan Lombard is @ 61 Glencairn Drive, Pollokshields, until Sunday 19th September. All proceeds go to Glasgow SE Foodbank