Public Exhibition being [t]here
A Photographic Research Project on the County Buildings of Kinross
Undertaken at The Glasgow School of Art by Catherine Markie
Supported by Kinross-shire Partnership
The Exhibition will be at Kinross Library 9th – 31st January 2012
Views of the Community are sought on the future use of The County Buildings.
Being [t]here examines traces of layered habitation in an abandoned place, through archival documents and plans, past inhabitant’s memories and photographic research. The project is led through a case study of a specific municipal building, the County Buildings of Kinross, the latest building in the centre of the high street to become surplus to requirement. Although being a prominent building on the high street, it was seen by the majority of town and myself as merely housing council offices, yet research into archives and gaining access from the local council revealed a rich history hidden behind the late Georgian façade.
Initially built in 1825/6 as a courthouse, jail and mortuary, the County Buildings were last converted to use as council offices for social welfare, planning and the certification of births, marriages and deaths. The juxtaposition of the initial function against the council use and current state is played on through photographs relating to archival documents of events such as a prisoners’ attempted escapes, handwritten accounts, architectural drawings, and personal photographs of an interviewee who used to work there in the 50’s when the building still ran under initial functions. The building takes on its own being when the occupants leave; the mundane takes on new meaning and the everyday is exposed revealing an insight into an example of a municipal building which is now seen differently than would have been revealed to its inhabitants when in everyday use. When in use the building became the backdrop, yet through adopting a formal, static architectural photographic style, the building now assumes its own presence confronting us to question the everyday environments that we work in and occupy.
Catherine Markie, from Kinross, studied Interior and Environmental Design at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design. In completion of her degree in 2007, Catherine worked freelance with Colin Wishart’s Architectural practice Freespace on various architectural projects as well as photographic commissions for architectural publications and galleries. Throughout this time Catherine has been further working on her own artwork using photography and film and has carried out short courses in video and photography relating to the built environment with 2nd year students at The Dundee School of Architecture. This accumulated to undertaking a Masters of Research in Creative Practices at The Glasgow School of Art in 2010-2011, specialising in photography as research with a final masters project, being [t]here examining the County Buildings of Kinross for a photographic exhibition and dissertation.
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