A few images from my first portrait session at Maryhill Foodbank. Founded in 2013 by volunteers Julie Webster and Jim Hamilton, the foodbank services Acre, Cadder, Gilshochill, Maryhill, Milton, Possilpark, Parkhouse, Queens Cross, Ruchill, Summerston, Woodside and Wyndford. The foodbank is open several days a week for donations and food pickups. It is an independent community project, relying on donations and receiving no government funding.
Far from being the ‘necessary evil’ that many believe them to be, foodbanks in Scotland exist because of calculated and repeated attacks on our welfare system by Westminster. I will be working with volunteers and other community members over the coming months to create a portrait of the foodbank and the area around it, which is about two miles from the centre of Glasgow. The volunteers are people from a diverse range of backgrounds and includes asylum seekers, unemployed people, and ex-offenders. Many of the volunteers face financially precarious situations themselves,
Portraits: Co-founder Julie Webster, volunteer Malcolm Kilpatrick, and volunteer Brian Waterston.
My nonno, Romolo Attilio Luigi Chiocconi, who died 10 years ago today at the age of 98. He lived through two wars, stared down a lion in Africa, survived a torpedo attack by swimming for 9 hours in the Atlantic ocean, was interned in Australia, then ran a cafe in Argyle St with my nonna, famously only went into a pub once in his life, and taught me how to play chess. He loved wine and cats and jigsaws and westerns, and never lost his sense of adventure and mischief. I love and miss him with all my heart.
Springburn, Glasgow, July 2014. This image is making me fall in love with the Mamiya 7 again, after being a bit disappointed with my past few films.
Last workshop session today! I’m so proud of my lovely students and have had such a great time with them over the past 8 weeks. Great documentation of the Emancipation Acts performances, with each photographer developing his or her own style. Hope I get to work with some or all of them again. Thanks guys!
My third cousin, Lina, who died last week at the age of 86. She has been in her house at Stagnedo for as long as I can remember, pottering, cooking, laughing and making jokes. I don’t speak much Italian, and she talked a mile a minute in rural dialect, but ever since I was a little girl our meetings were full of such love and kindness. I made this portrait of her in 2010, in my third year at art school. I was looking forward to making another portrait of her in a few weeks’ time, but it wasn’t to be. Goodbye, Lina.
Some of my lovely students today, after documenting the first Emancipation Acts performance in Merchant City. Emancipation Acts is a series of site-specific performances looking at Glasgow’s historic links to the slave trade. A brilliant mix of song, dance, and performance. There are two more performances, tomorrow and Friday, meeting at 1pm at the Briggait, and tickets are free. More info here L-R: Neil, Zainab, Enas and Jane.
Houston, Texas. A wee peek at a zine I’m working on at the moment.
Springburn, Glasgow. July 2014.
Your worship needed a god.
Where it lacked one, it found one.
Ordinary jocks became gods
Deified by your infatuation
That seemed to have been designed at birth for a god.
It was a god-seeker. A god-finder.
Your Daddy had been aiming you at God
When his death touched the trigger.
In that flash
You saw your whole life. You ricocheted
The length of your Alpha career
With the fury
Of a high-velocity bullet
That cannot shed one foot-pound
Of kinetic energy. The elect
More or less died on impact –
They were too mortal to take it.
They were mind-stuff,
Provisional, speculative, mere auras.
Sound-barrier events along your flightpath.
But inside your sob-sodden Kleenex
And your Saturday night panics,
Under your hair done this way and that way,
Behind what looked like rebounds
And the cascade of cries diminuendo,
You were undeflected.
You were gold-jacketed, solid silver,
Nickel-tipped. Trajectory perfect
As through ether. Even the cheek-scar,
Where you seemed to have side-swiped concrete,
Served as a rifling groove
To keep you true.
Till your real target
Hid behind me. Your Daddy,
The god with the smoking gun. For a long time
Vague as mist, I did not even know
I had been hit,
Or that you had gone clean through me
To bury yourself at last in the heart of the god.
In my position, the right witchdoctor
Might have caught you in flight with his bare hands,
Tossed you, cooling, one hand to the other,
Godless, happy, quieted.
A wisp of your hair, your ring, your watch, your nightgown.
- Ted Hughes