Uncategorized

New Annual Photography Festival to launch in St Andrews, Scotland

Main image: Woman in window, Harris, 1937 © Robert Moyes Adam. All images © the artist, courtesy of the University of St Andrews Library.

St Andrews, a small town in Scotland, played a key part in the early development of the medium of photography. A new photography festival is about to celebrate that heritage.

BID St Andrews, a body created to support businesses in the town, is working with the University of St Andrews and local businesses to launch an annual photography festival in the small Scottish town which will celebrate the heritage of St Andrews in the world of photography.

St Andrews has been home to some historic photographers. Dr John Adamson is perhaps the most celebrated – a blue plaque adorns the wall of his former home in the town on South Street.

But many other names are to be celebrated at the festival for the role they played, including Sir Hugh Lyon Playfair, David Octavius Hill, Robert Adamson, Thomas Rodger and Sir David Brewster.

Four gentlemen golfers in a Car, St Andrews, 1904. By John Fairweather, held in Cowie Collection.

Four gentlemen golfers in a Car, St Andrews, 1904. By John Fairweather, held in Cowie Collection.

The Kelpies at Sunset, Falkirk, 2014. By Hamish Brown. The Kelpies at Sunset, Falkirk, 2014. By Hamish Brown.

The first six-week-long festival – from August 1 to September 11 – will see events and exhibitions focus on the earliest days of photography in St Andrews, as well as Scottish documentary photography dating over the last 175 years.

BID Chairman Alistair Lang says: “We are one of the most photographed and filmed towns in the world, yet few realise much of the technology we enjoy the benefits of today began with the work of a collection of photographic pioneers who lived and worked in St Andrews in the 1800s.”

Up to 15 local businesses will be involved, including cafés and restaurants, hosting small-scale exhibitions. There will also be tours, seminars, workshops and talks including guest photographers as well as workshops to demonstrate a variety of photographic processes including calotype and collodion – two of the earliest and those used by the town’s renowned pioneers of the art.

Allan Robertson, St Andrews, 1850. By Thomas Rodger.

Allan Robertson, St Andrews, 1850. By Thomas Rodger.

Alistair says: “Today’s technology ensures we can all be photographers and we’re inviting everyone to be a part of this unique festival which we hope will become a regular fixture in the town’s calendar.”

“This event is about participation – engaging with people who live and work in the town as well as those visiting during the festival. We’ll also be using the event to reach out to those who like, follow and otherwise engage with us on digital and social media channels worldwide…using photographs.”

Dr John Adamson’s home on South Street, St Andrews, 1862. By John Adamson.

Dr John Adamson’s home on South Street, St Andrews, 1862. By John Adamson.

“The festival includes indoor and outdoor venues – making use of the town’s stunning setting and landscape to showcase work and engage with photographers of all ages. It will also provide an opportunity for businesses across the town to get involved and interact with customers in new ways.”

The St Andrews Photography Festival will run from 1 August to 11 September 2016. For details as they’re revealed, see here.