This residency has almost come to a close. This will probably be my last post. My bottle of Glenrothes is almost empty. A good deal of the work has been accomplished and I’m quite proud of what I’ve got. Remember what filmmaker Peter Wintonick said: “It’s not about getting what you want, it’s about wanting what you get”.
Of the portraits I made, I will remember that they are never easy to accomplish (see the Paul Strand video). There is always this sentiment of being on a blind date, an awkward rendez-vous of a few minutes with an unknown person. The experience is stimulating but also destabilizing for both. Here in Glasgow, all meetings were of good nature, even the ones made directly on the street.
One of the last portraits i made was of Georgia, a young 21 years old history student who lives in Rothsay, a small town on in Isle of Bute. That’a an hour’s train ride and half an hour of ferry to get to Island from Glasgow. Quite a distance to do one portrait but well worth it. I wanted this portrait in my series, in front of the ocean. Just her, looking out towards the open sea and the mountains on the mainland. In this small town, shipyard workers would come to spend their 2 week of summer vacations. One last island visited.
I also did a quick visit to Edinburg a few days ago. I got to note the difference between the two cities. Edinburgh is the capital, neat and clean. It’s the touristic city with it’s almost Disneyland look. A beautiful city. On the other hand, Glasgow is the working-class city, dirty and looking tough.
In Edinburgh, I got to the Film Festival and saw the Mark Cousins movie The eyes of Orson Wells. It’s long visual letter written to Wells by the filmmaker, a sort of oblique look at the life and work of the great actor / director using his drawings and painting as a jumping-off point. Then I went to the National Portrait Gallery, a fabulous building, to see a photo exhibit about transportation, notably trains.
The following day I was in Central Station making photographs. I love trains, having grown up as the son of a railway man. I also love European train stations for all their architecture, movement and beautiful light.
My final portrait was with Miko, my friend Colin’s son. He a tall, very well fit young man who trains every day. We went to the Arlington Bath’s, a Victorian building, an old sport’s club made modern. There was beautiful light.
The final days in Glasgow are particularly and unusually warm at 28 degrees. This in definitely not Scottish weather I was expecting. Tonight, a warm evening in Luss with a friend, looking at the moon rise over the Loch. Boys and girls challenging each other, jumping off the peer (which is formally prohibited) into the frigid waters of Loch Lomond.
Kids will be kids!