At the weekend, I was invited along with other Edinburgh Bloggers to OneThink photography exhibition hosted by 6 photography students of Edinburgh Napier University at Coburg House Art Studios in Leith. The photos of the budding photographers are linked through one idea, one meaning, thus ‘OneThink’. Drawing inspiration from the poem A Light In The Attic by Shel Silverstein, each photo draws in the audience to the narrative through the clever photographic techniques used by each photographer.
There’s a light on in the attic.
Thought the house is dark and shuttered,
I can see a flickerin’ flutter,
And I know what it’s about.
There’s a light on in the attic.
I can see it from the outside.
And I know you’re on the inside… lookin’ out.
A Light In The Attic by Shel Silverstein
Stranraer isn’t really a town you hear many talk about visiting when travelling around Scotland. The photos displayed show buildings in disrepair or of stereotypical unsavoury neighbourhoods, but Caroline aims to change the viewer’s perception of beauty. There is beauty in everything we see around us and the photos teach us to look at the detail, the beauty in nature and to not let a book be judged by its cover.
Amber’s photos combines her interests in graphic design, painting and photography to express feeling through colour and its effect. The series of Night Light photos evoke a sense of danger through the dark streets, yet hints of light draw you into the mystery of the environment and the viewer stays to take a longer look at the streets. Instead of feelings of fear, viewers are invited to take a deeper look at the photo to look for other interesting details in the buildings and streets featured.
Readers will already be well aware of my stance on mental health issues faced by a majority of the population. It’s not something that we, as humans, are able to control and yet there is still stigma surrounding those suffering from such conditions. Claire interviews her models, to gain insight into their experiences. Just as everyone experiences life differently, each person’s experience with anxiety or depression differ and these photos give the viewer a visual reminder of this.
Helen takes a personal journey through her photos by documenting her father’s journey with Alzheimer’s. With his deteriorating health, Helen takes the opportunity to question his condition with a quote from the poem, ‘can I see it from the outside?’ Viewers are indirectly prompted to look at the man in the photos, the Alzheimer’s does not make the man in the photos.
The series of 6 photographs document the memories of a man who spent most of his working career life as a lighthouse keeper. A lighthouse is not seen much today and the curious mind will wonder what life was like as a keeper at Kinnaird Head Lighthouse. The photos document the small momentos that were important to Ian Duff for whom it was a way of life. The viewer is invited into the world of lighthouse keeping and is able to imagine Ian’s fond memories through the radio on kitchen cabinet which probably gave regular weather reports and the stairs he must have climbed daily.
Chris’ photos bring to life the stories of 3 individuals who have been shaped by their past. Looking at their photos, you see 3 different men. The accompanying iPods under each photo share their stories of how their past has shaped their present. For example, listen to Josh explain how he’s become the Tartan Explorer, travelling across 80 countries and 6 continents by bike to raise awareness for mental health and suicide prevention.
It might not be readily apparent at the time how each photographer’s work are linked, but when you take a step back to think about the narrative behind each series of photos, each photographer is telling a story. They are linked in bringing together the story of beauty in nature around us, in bringing forth an understanding and challenging perceptions and first impressions of the photos before the viewers. Often art is misunderstood, but we are challenged to read the story behind the photos and to take another look, to fully appreciate the story behind each one. Bringing together 6 photographers’ series of stories through photos, united in ‘OneThink’.
The exhibition is available to the public at Coburg House Art Studios, 15 Coburg Street, EH6 6ET until Saturday 9th April. Tonight, the exhibition will also host an evening with The Loud Poets. See their Facebook events page for more information.