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Frank McElhinney: Only for Freedom

6 April 2020 until 6 May 2020
Street Level Photoworks Website

Only for Freedom is an exhibition of new work by Frank McElhinney.
Originally planned to be exhibited at Trongate 103, the images will be viewable from 12pm on Monday 6th April.

As well as the exhibition on our website, there will be an instagram takeover beginning on Monday 6th April and a livestream Q+A with the artist on Thursday 9th April at 6.30pm through our facebook page. A pinhole demonstration will also be shared on this page.

This project combines a process-based approach to alternative photographic image-making, with a keen sense of history and a poignant political viewpoint.

The photographs were made by placing pinhole cameras loaded with photographic paper in the thirty-two council areas of Scotland, and follows on from his earlier series 45 Sun Pictures which was made in response to the Scottish Independence referendum. Both projects utilise solargraphy, a means of making pinhole photographs by exposing photographic paper over the course of months. Each image is unique, with the unfixed images which are burned into the photographic paper, being scanned before they fade away.

This project serves to both commemorate the 700th anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath as well as comment on contemporary political issues. Of the themes of the work, McElhinney says:

“Grotesque inequality, the Brexit fiasco, and Boris Johnson as Prime Minister all point towards a UK political system that is badly broken. Under this system Scotland has no voice on issues of critical importance. ‘Only for Freedom’ stands as a declaration of independence written by light.”

Previous exhibitions include 45 Sun Pictures as part of the group show ‘Tabula Rasa’, a Street Level curated exhibition exhibited at Kaunas Photography Gallery in 2015, then Adrift as part of the same show at Street Level in 2016/17; Postcards from Scotland (in a Time of Crisis) a digital artwork featured during La Nuit de l’Instant during Glasgow International and Printemps de l’Art Contemporain in Marseille, both in 2018 and as part of Nida International Photography Symposium in Lithuania. He regularly contributes to Writing on Scottish Photography, a blog set up by himself in 2018, more info here.


View the exhibition.


© Frank McElhinney

© Frank McElhinney