Documenting Britain

Grey City

My Documenting Britain project is a personal story of Aberdeen, my subjective impressions of this Northern city bounded by two river mouths, the North Sea and green stretches of land. Some call it the Granite City, others say it is silver, though it is also known as the Energy Capital of Europe. The label I think is the most accurate is the Grey City.

The Grey City

“It isn’t what a picture is of, it is what it is about” - John Szarkowski

The Grey City is a record of the places and people who aren’t present in the glossy and idealised promotional publications of the local council but which I am encountering on everyday basis. It is the record of my own journey through Aberdeen and discovering its ordinary side. Aberdeen is the city where the enormous wealth is generated via its connection with the oil and gas industry. It is also the city with one of the biggest employment polarisation and unequal distribution of wealth in UK.

Perhaps my project, although being naturally subjective will be received by some as the one, which is documenting the genuine fabric and the mood of the third largest Scottish city. Perhaps others might see my work as something completely opposite. Being a guest here I am happy to be free from the nostalgic and idealised vision of Aberdeen however, I am not claiming that my work will show you the only real side of the Granite City. What I can offer to my audience is my perception of Aberdeen in the form of a visual document. I encourage you, the viewer to read, interpret and cross-examine my work.

Significant part of The Grey City project constitutes of the architectural and landscape photography. I believe that we can learn a lot about society of which we are part of by looking at its urban environment, the landscape and the state of our closest surroundings. Even when I am photographing the granite building or the land my subject is always the same: people, therefore I rarely isolate them from their environment. I am applying the same approach in my other series as this helps me to gather as much visual information as possible about photographed person or place.

I started this series at the end of 2012 when I moved to Aberdeen and project is constantly evolving. Please have a look at my website and blog to see more photographs and to follow the progress of my work.