New photography exhibition shares snapshots of life in Tayside as partnership between The McManus and Tayside Healthcare Arts Trust frames art as essential healthcare.
- Lockdown project sees participants with long term health conditions guided by photographer and artist David P Scott to develop their own photographic style.
- Art Fund supported project worked with ten budding photographers documenting their lives in lockdown and taking inspiration from A Love Letter to Dundee: Joseph McKenzie Photographs 1964-1987 exhibition currently running at The McManus: Dundee's Art Gallery and Museum.
- Loving Photography exhibition goes online and runs from 8th April to 29th May 2021.
This Thursday 8th April sees the launch of a new exhibition highlighting the power of photography in playing a key role in supporting healthcare. Loving Photography is the culmination of an 8 week long project that saw 10 participants with long term health conditions from the Tayside region develop their skills and knowledge of photography. Led by Dundee based artist and photographer David P. Scott, the series of practical workshops delivered by Zoom explored key elements of photography with a series of tasks for participants to complete each week. Supported by Art Fund the project is a partnership between the Learning Team at
The McManus: Dundee's Art Gallery and Museum and Tayside Heathcare Arts Trust (THAT) developed to combat isolation heightened by the current COVID-19 pandemic.
The resultant exhibition features six images from each photographer chronicling their time in lockdown and celebrating the often overlooked elements of daily life. From the rain soaked streets of Perth to crisp white snow hugging a mug of coffee; images in both colour and black and white are inspired by the work of famous photographer Joseph McKenzie whilst at the same time developing the unique personal style of each participant. Images of brooding cityscapes and soaring murmurations sit alongside photos taken at home elevating the mundane to a new level.
Speaking about their time on the course participant Alice Jones said:
"I took thousands of pics! Who knew I could do this, I've shocked myself, always loved photography but never knew I could be this good. Overwhelmed with the positive, awesome feedback, feel very emotional about it and best thing done by far since having a brain tumour and hopefully I will carry on doing this as seems to have brought out a huge passion, I never knew I had. Wonderful and hope I'm lucky to do this again."
Participant Michelle Cassidy said:
"Being part of the programme has given me a push to leave the house and interact with the world and begin to see the beauty of life again. The sense of accomplishment each week, completing a series of photos had a huge benefit to my wellbeing and seeing and hearing others enjoyment in my photos definitely was a boost to my self-esteem. The couple of really rough weeks I was having came through my photographs which helped me to bring out my feelings. A kind of therapy, especially writing it down and explaining my photos. The social interaction with the other participants and the feeling of acceptance for being me and of my difficulties, where difficulties don't matter, allowed me to feel me again, something I don't feel very often."
Chris Kelly, Projects Coordinator for Tayside Healthcare Arts Trust said:
"We are excited to be collaborating with The McManus for the first time and it is particularly valuable for us to be sharing resources just now. Our participants are finding this second lockdown even more difficult and the weekly creative challenges provide a positive focus and exchange for everyone. The overwhelmingly positive response to this project has highlighted the potential of these partnerships and the key role art and photography plays in enhancing well being and resilience at this difficult time."
Cheryl McDermid, Creative Learning Officer Leisure and Culture Dundee said:
"It's a crucial time for cultural venues to reach out and provide creative engagement with groups. Equalities and inclusion are central to the museum's audience engagement and at this time in particular, we want to activate positive mental health and wellbeing. This project and our other Reconnect projects are a great example of how museums, health organisations and cultural partners can navigate new ways together to continue to engage, inspire and connect with those who really need us to."
Photo by Helen Gowland