EXHIBITION: Govan / Gdansk at the Street Level Photoworks, Glasgow

Govan / Gdansk 

Michal Szlaga, Raymond Depardon, Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert, Nick Hedges

This exhibition links the shipyards of Govan, Glasgow and Gdansk, Poland and their post-industrial decline and resilience in the work of 4 photographers. Michal Szlaga's 'Stocznia/Shipyard – Documents of Loss' is the outcome of a 15 year project documenting the buildings of the Gdansk Shipyard, their gradual demolition and the construction of new ones. In 1980, the French Magnum photographer Raymond Depardon was commissioned by the Sunday Times to record aspects of Glasgow and the evocative results are now lauded as telling an unremittingly bleak portrayal of urban deprivation and decay. In 1968 Nick Hedges was commissioned by the housing charity Shelter to document the abject living conditions being experienced in slum housing in the UK. The images here are from the seminal body of work 'A Life Worth Living', which, like Depardon's, see children happily at play against the backdrop of the Govan cranes. Shot over a few days for editorial clients, Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert's'Shipbuilding' from the mid-1990's is a critical time capsule at the Kvaerner shipyards in Govan which catches the monumentality of this industry and the people who drove it. 

Opening Reception

Friday 3rd June 5 – 7 pm

4th June – 31st July 2016 

Street Level Photoworks | Trongate 103, Glasgow 

Symposium: Attracted to dereliction? 

Documenting post-industrial heritage 

Saturday 4th June 1 – 4 pm

RSVP to reception@streetlevelphotoworks.org


Associated Events 

The opening symposium: 'Attracted to dereliction? Documenting post-industrial heritage' will feature an introduction from Prof Katarzyna Kosmala (UWS) and a talk and tour of the works with Michal Szlaga. Dr Waldemar Affelt (Nicolaus Copernicus University, Torun, and the Main Conservation Commission to the General Conservator of the Polish Republic) will address issues of documenting and conversation, linking to his on-going research on the Gdansk shipyard and post-industrial regeneration. Malcolm Dickson will discuss both Depardon's and Hedges broader projects form which the work in the exhibition is selected; Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert will give a tour of his work on display; and Chris Leslie will discuss his 'Last of the Govan Cranes' in the context of his broader work chronicling a changing Glasgow. Audience discussion will be faciliated by Graham Jeffery (UWS). 

The University of the West  of Scotland are also hosting a research seminar on Friday 3rd June, 1-3pm: Panel on politics of regeneration, artists lens and community engagement with Polish artist Michal Szlaga's video screening. Seminar is free and open to public. To register please email: Susan.Caldwell@uws.ac.uk  by 31 May.   


For more information on the exhibition and related events visit:

Govan / Gdansk – Street Level Photoworks



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