Exhibition to showcase Aberdeen's changing cityscape through photography and sound

Exhibition to showcase Aberdeen's changing cityscape through photography and sound

A new exhibition bringing together the work of a contemporary photographer and an early pioneer in the field will explore Aberdeen's changing cityscape.

Now open at the Sir Duncan Rice Library, City of Ghosts, will showcase images taken of the city by George Washington Wilson (1823-1893), who advanced glass plate commercial photography and travelled around the world to capture everyday scenes.

His images of Aberdeen’s civic grandeur in the late Victorian period helped to establish a proud vision of the city’s distinctive identity, and are maintained as an important part of the University’s Special Collections

These will be shown alongside photographs by John Perivolaris, who in March 2015 undertook a residency at the University of Aberdeen’s Washington Wilson Centre for Visual Culture. He revisited locations around Aberdeen photographed by Washington Wilson and his team, recording the urban environments of the contemporary city.

It soon became clear that several of their vantage points had disappeared or were difficult to find, highlighting the striking transformation Aberdeen has undergone since the time of Washington Wilson.

The exhibition, running until February 21 2016, will explore this contrast with photographs taken by Washington Wilson and Perivolaris displayed side-by-side.

The atmosphere of the contemporary city is also captured in a sound installation commissioned for the exhibition by Pete Stollery, Professor of Music at the University of Aberdeen.

Professor Ed Welch, Director of the George Washington Wilson Centre for Visual Culture, said:

“The George Washington Wilson archive has been fully digitised allowing the images to be seen in high quality. They offer a real insight into Victorian life in Aberdeen.

“John Perivolaris also specialises in photographing urban landscapes and he has brought his own perspective to the Aberdeen cityscape just as Wilson did.

“The exhibition represents an exciting opportunity to showcase the work of two pioneering photographers, while at the same time raising thought-provoking questions about the city’s identity at a time of rapid change.”

City of Ghosts is open in the Galley of the Sir Duncan Rice Library on Bedford Road from 10am to 5pm Monday to Wednesday and Friday and Saturday. On Thursday it opens 10am to 7pm and on Sunday from 10am to 4pm. Entry is free of charge and the exhibition runs until February 21 2016.

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