Southsiders: Portrait of a Community is an artistic project by Peter Dibdin using both photography and audio, in print and online to celebrate and explore perceptions around the identity of the Southside community of Edinburgh, Scotland.
Thirty-eight people who live, work or have a connection to the city’s Southside area have generously given their time to be photographed by Edinburgh based photographer Peter Dibdin in locations holding a special significance for them. Each participant has also recorded the audio story behind their portrait to uncover the moving, inspirational and significant contribution the Southside makes to the history and heritage of Edinburgh.
The project was commissioned by the Causey Development Trust and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund ‘All Our Stories’ Programme, Foundation Scotland, City of Edinburgh Council Business Partnerships Project and the Cray Trust.
Origins of The Causey: Crosscauseway is a street that runs east-west and historically links two of the principal roads running south out of town, Causeyside (now Buccleuch Street) and the Pleasance. It is recorded in 1599 as having been “causeyed” (paved), giving the street its name: “Crosscausey“ meaning the cross street that is paved (later corrupted to “Crosscauseway”).
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Artist: Peter Dibdin
Project Manager: Shona Thomson
Development Consultant: Lucy Brown
Designer: Janine Sack
Sound Recording & Editing: George Joseph Miller IV
Pavement Design: Tom Barnett
PR & Marketing: Linsay Given Black
Audio Transcription: Stuart Walker
Exhibition Design Consultants: Malcolm Innes & Alison Blamire
Purveyor of Kindness: Sandy Hutton
Exhibition Production and Installation: McRobb Display Ltd
Information Panel Construction: Malcolm McIntosh
Thanks to our generous funders, supporters and donors.
Supporters and Donors
7 September – 5 October 2013
Nine portraits have been selected from the full collection for display outdoors in The Causey. Rather than choosing to display the images in a gallery against a white wall, the portraits are framed by the Southside itself becoming an exhibition without walls.
The exhibition is part of the viewers’ everyday activities. As people walk to work in the morning they might only see one or two images. On the way back they could see two completely different portraits because of their path through the space and the way the portraits are positioned.
Photographer Peter Dibdin met with thirty-eight people from the community, took their pictures and listened to their stories. The stories have been recorded as audio to accompany the images on the website and also act as transcripts in the publication.
As part of the project’s public engagement and interaction strategy, artist Tom Barnett designed the unique piece of pavement art on the Causey traffic island. Barnett is a scuptor working in a variety of artforms to create accessible artwork relevant to its context. For this project, he has employed his work on crowds: constructing a sense of the group through an aggregate of dancing individuals – a reflection of the project aims and a portrait of a community itself. www.tombarnett.net
In addition to the exhibition and website, a free publication accompanies the project. This thirty-six pages tabloid size “newspaper” contains the full collection of portraits and transcripts of the participants’ audio stories. It also features poetry inspired by the Southside that has been written by Southsider and Edinburgh Makar Ron Butlin as well as the Dumbiedykes Writers Group.
The publication’s newspaper-like format links to the aim of the project to be accessible, to make the community visible within the community itself. It will be distributed throughout the Southside. This aspiration of public accessibility combined with their location in public space will give a good insight into both the heart of the community and the artist’s reflection on it via his work.
The designer and artist Janine Sack has worked with us on this project to deliver an overall design, that is simple and clear, and helps to deliver the intent of the project as approachable and of high quality. Her background as an Art Director for a German newspaper, as well as her involvement in the arts as artists and facilitator has been a perfect asset to help the publications (print and online) come to life.
Pick up a copy from outlets across the Southside including:
56 North Bar and Restaurant, 2 – 8 West Crosscauseway
Southside Community Centre, 117 Nicolson Street
Greenmantle Pub, 44 West Crosscauseway
Press Coffee, 30 Buccleuch Street
The Braidwood Centre, 69 Dumbiedykes Road
Inspace, 1 Crichton Street
Summerhall, 1 Summerhall
Or download the PDF
The Southsiders on BBC News!
Wednesday 25 September 2013
The Daily Record
Wednesday 18 September 2013
Edinburgh Evening News
Wednesday 11 September 2013
The Edinburgh Reporter
Sunday 8 September 2013