Celebrating 176 Years of Scottish Photography, in the Home of Scottish Photography

Fri 4 Aug 17

An exciting month-long programme of events is planned for the St Andrews Photography Festival 2017, supported for the first time by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland's Events Directorate with continuing support from Fife Council. Commencing on 1st September, the festival is celebrating 176 years of Scottish photography with a series of exhibitions, workshops, talks and special events to celebrate the long line of Scottish photographers, both historic and contemporary, and to recognise St Andrews as the Home of Scottish Photography.

Now in its second year, the Photography Festival will build on its inaugural success of 2016 with a current thirteen exhibitions planned over ten venues, ten Fringe exhibitions, seventeen talks and workshops and nine Fringe talks and workshops. The events will be held in non-traditional venues across the town, which will have their wall space taken over for the four week festival, and also a number of outdoor venues.

Exhibition themes are extensive at this year's festival and vary from celebrating Scotland's excellence in design, technology, engineering and innovation, to "snapshots" of Scottish photographic history displaying early practitioners and dark room equipment, to underwater landscapes and also the visual story of Glasgow's disappearing towerblocks.

The Fringe is a new festival element introduced for 2017 which the organisers have developed to engage both the local creative community, residents and visitors to St Andrews towards the end of the summer season which is enhanced this year with the installation of the iconic sculptures of the Kelpie Maquettes on the Bruce Embankment in the town until October.

A photography competition has also been organised with the winner having the opportunity to create an exhibition of their work displayed at the Byre Theatre for the duration of the festival.

The official launch of the St Andrews Photography Festival takes place on Saturday 2nd September and the organisers are delighted to have teamed up with No. 18 (The Gin Fayre) to bring a truly special theme to celebrate the opening of this year's programme. During the day there will be previews of each festival exhibition in addition to attendees having the opportunity to personally meet the exhibiting photographers. Each of the sessions throughout the day is sponsored by award-winning Darnely's Gin who will be on hand to provide welcome refreshments.

Rhonda McCrimmon, Project Manager of BID St Andrews which has co-developed and organised the Photography Festival, said: "After the success of last year's event we are very much looking forward to offering an exciting theme for 2017, 'Scot at Home'. It has been over 175 years since the discovery that changed how we view and document the world around us. William Henry Fox Talbot's infamous photographic process patent did not apply to Scotland, and so experiment abounded in the north east corner of Fife and St Andrews luminaries were some of the first amateur and professional Scottish photographers. Talks by academics and artists, tours revealing the hidden photographic history of the town, and historic process workshops will complement the exhibitions, allowing visitors to delve into photographic history, in St Andrews the home of Scottish photography. We are confident this year's festival will attract visitors into the town from both national and international creative communities."

Rachel Nordstrom of the Special Collections Division of the University of St Andrews Library, co-developer and organiser of the festival, added: "I am very impressed with the extensive variety of exhibitions and events we have on offer at the Photography Festival this year and the calibre of the leading photographers that we have secured to support the month-long programme of exhibitions and events. It will be a wonderful celebration of photography in Scotland and the history of photography in St Andrews."

Stuart Turner, Head of EventScotland, said: "We are delighted to be supporting the St Andrew's Photography Festival for the first time in 2017, Scotland's year of History, Heritage and Archaeology. With the festival's programme celebrating 176 years of Scottish photography, it is a perfect fit for this themed year and another fantastic opportunity to showcase Scotland as the perfect stage for events."

(c) Rob Douglas

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