The Photobook Advent Calendar – Dec 17th

This year, in the true spirit of Christmas, we’re doing the Miniclick Photobook Advent Calendar where we’ll look at a different photobook, newspaper, magazine or ‘zine we like by someone we’ve worked with in the last 12 months, right up until Christmas Day. To view the Advent Calendar picks so far, click here.

Day 17 – December 17th

Document Scotland – Seeing Ourselves

2013 might be the year of the collective. It seems like some great groups of photographers have started working together to create some excellent work. There’s a lot of reasons for this, and the increased connectivity thanks to social media no doubt helps. Whatever it is, it’s great to see photographers clubbing together, pooling ideas and resources and being all the better for it. Document Scotland are four Scottish born photographers (plus invited artists) who, well, document Scotland. Both Sophie Gerrard and Colin McPherson have done great short talks for us this year, in Liverpool and Leeds, and they were at our paper fair in November. Here we feature their second newspaper in the Miniclick Photobook Advent Calendar…

Document Scotland DOC002 newspaper, 'Seeing Ourselves', Friday 31st May 2013.

“Scotland has a long and pioneering tradition in documentary photography, indeed some might argue that we invented the genre.

Set against many of the great historical events of the age, Scotland has a rich tradition of producing outstanding work by a multitude of committed, passionate and skilful photographers. Reflecting society as a whole, Scottish photographers have been part of the great global waves of exploration and emigration which has defined Scottish life over the last two centuries. In addition, Scotland has provided a canvas for many celebrated international photographers who have used the country as a backdrop to make their own work.

It is with this sense of a place and history that we have established Document Scotland. Colin McPherson, Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert, Sophie Gerrard and Stephen McLaren are four Scots-born photographers, each exponents of documentary photography in our own individual ways. We have lived and worked extensively both at home and abroad. Our work has been published in the pages of some of the most important international magazines, we have won numerous awards and exhibited internationally. We are passionate about documentary photography and we are committed to photographing Scotland.” 

This publication, which coincided with an exhibition of the work, includes photos by invited artists Radek Nowacki, Jenny Wicks, Martin Hunter, Giulietta Verdon-Roe, Sarah Amy Fishlock and Robert Ormerod as well as Sophie and Colin and fellow founder members Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert and Stephen McLaren.

Of course, this is a pivotal time in Scotland’s history and what Document Scotland are doing could well prove to be incredibly important in years to come – bringing stories from their country on the brink of possible independence. What the artists in “Seeing Ourselves” are doing is holding “a mirror up to life in Scotland today and reflect some of the social, political, environmental and economic issues facing the country at this pivotal time in our shared history.” They’ve done it really nicely with stories as broad as the ‘Political Youth’ (Robert Ormerod), the interiors of Scottish prisons in ‘Working Space Punishing Places’ (Jenny Wicks) and women working the Scottish Landscape in ‘Drawn to the Land’ (Sophie Gerrard). The quality of work throughout is outstanding and stories being told engaging. Can’t wait for the next one!

The 24 page newspaper is available here for £4 (inc UK postage).

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