“As a landscape photographer I have learnt that I must be prepared to make relentless journeys to the same location, sit silently in awakening dawns, endure unforgiving climates, climb snow-capped mountains and discover hidden pastures.” Kenny Allan
Born in Fife in 1965 Kenny Allan was given his first camera at the age of ten years old. From that point on photography became an integral and ever-present part of Allan’s life.
In 2016, recognising in Allan’s work an eye for an undercurrent within his subject, we commissioned him to create a new body of work. Challenging him to move away from the landscapes he had previously been capturing, we suggested he strip away preconceived and stereotypical notions of beauty, instead asking him to grapple with his subject, lifting the stone to see what lay beneath.
From Neolithic burial chambers and ancient domestic settlements, to grand Victorian villas scattered along our coastline, human beings have always left their mark on the natural environment. Yet these fade through the centuries, nature often reclaiming that space as time marches relentlessly on.
Kenny Allan’s photographs stop time. They open a door through which you walk as a viewer, all becoming still around you. These works allow you to see the beauty which lies within the brutality, decay and dereliction in Scotland. Both intimate and alienating at the same time the photographs allow you to contemplate the composition and begin to construct your own narrative for the image.
Allan visited the locations in this exhibition repeatedly, building relationships with the spaces and immersing himself in their heritage and history. This obsessive process, compulsively searching for the mystical and elusive essence of a space is reminiscent of artists such as Monet who painted Rouen Cathedral many times, and Rembrandt who captured his likeness time and time again in nearly 100 self-portraits.
Working with Waterside Property to procure the ideal space for this show we have been lucky enough to be gifted the use of The Hollies, Shore Road, Tighnabruaich. We are thrilled to invite you into this dynamic and evocative space. Breaking away from preconceived ideas of a gallery space and how works of art should be displayed, exhibiting Life After in this building allows the viewer a totally immersive experience. The viewer’s own sense of curiosity is stirred. Step through the doors and imagine all that has happened within the building in it’s lifetime.
Just as Allan’s unique photographs stop time at one particular moment, by being in this space and viewing the work you are taking part in an experience which will never happen again.