Peripheral — Alan Donaldson
13th April to 26th May 2023
‘I was born in Faifley, a peripheral housing scheme, serving Clydebank, a shipbuilding town in decline. From an early age, I felt peripheral, I never wanted to be subsumed into the industry of the area.
In parallel the political ideology of the day created a brutal change from heavy industry to service. This violent change happened up and down the country and across the globe.
It has long been accepted that, in such areas, the socio-economic consequences of these policies the social environment and deprivation in its widest sense, limits life chances, indeed limits life itself.
Now a generation later markets move on again, from service to tech. To online, automation and AI.
Another cycle with people left to pick their way through the chaotic change the best they can.
As it turns out it is not just a creative born of the area that feels peripheral it is people themselves that are increasingly peripheral.’
After photography college in Glasgow Alan was awarded bursaries from The Scottish Arts Council to work on his own projects- a suite of pictures expressing a sense of alienation. In addition, Thomas Joshua Cooper had him exhibit in the fine art photography department in Glasgow School of Art. He also showed at Washington Street Arts Centre alongside Farm Security Administration pictures. Pictures of rural America’s Dust Bowl from the Great Depression, photographers included Walker Evans an early influence on him.
Alan worked as a commercial photographer with the intention of producing personal work alongside the paid work.
However, a successful practice dominated his time. Whilst always creating work of interest during this time it was not until the last few years he has rediscovered his purpose and intensity. This evolved from a holiday on Crete when he decided to leave his cameras behind and use his phone- a wonderfully freeing process. This continued on Instagram and then became an altogether more serious activity.