Photography exhibition brings people closer together

A new photography exhibition put Balloch residents in the picture as to what’s happening in their neighbourhood.

Balloch library

Balloch Library hosted the hit exhibition as part of an eight-week Community Voice project.

The photo show was run by social enterprise Inclusive Images in partnership with Cube Housing Association and West Dunbartonshire Libraries.

The exhibition, which took place on 21 April, proved a hit with members of the public as well as family and friends.

It brought together people from across the Vale who were passionate about the area and keen to highlight what was on offer in the local libraries and communities - and the improvements they would like to see.

Charlie Sherry, founder of Inclusive Images, said: “The workshops are a great way to bring people together who might not otherwise meet.

“We discuss issues that are affecting their communities and then they capture this using the photography skills they learn with us.

“The images which they have taken are very powerful and show what a great resource the local library offers to the community. Plus, they provide some good ideas of how they can be further developed so more people want to use them.”

The workshops were funded by the Wheatley Foundation, a charitable trust run by Cube’s parent company, Wheatley Group.

Wheatley Group worked with West Dunbartonshire Council to get £30,000 of Scottish Government funding to improve the library’s IT facilities. This paid for the installation of the new Click & Connect digital learning centre which helps people get online for free.

One participant said: “I really enjoyed the course. I learned how to use my camera and how to take better pictures. It was great to meet other local people for a chat and I made friends.

“It was much more than just about photography - it was getting to know your community. Organisers were eager to pass on their knowledge and answer all our questions.”

Another visitor said: “I really enjoyed the workshops. It opened my eyes up about the wider community. I feel really confident to talk to folk now. I was petrified to do so before.”

Allan Gordon, Service Improvement Librarian, noticed a big change in people at the start of the course and at the end.

Allan said: “It is quite extraordinary to see how the course participants have grown in confidence.  Many were full of doubts and anxieties about their own abilities when they began and it is very inspiring to see how they have grown in both their personal confidence and in their own creative abilities. They are a very talented bunch and it is deeply heartening to know that they will continue to pursue photography and explore their own creativity.”

Cube Director David Mackenzie added: “We want to give people the chance to get involved in their community and learn new skills. The community library, which includes our new Click & Connect computer learning centre, is a great place to meet new people and find out what’s happening in the neighbourhood.”

Pictured: Cube tenant Stephen McConnichie joins Charlie Sherry of Inclusive Images and Allan Gordon from West Dunbartonshire Council.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018