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7 December 2019 until 15 March 2020
Street Level Photoworks
Oscar Marzaroli is arguably Scotland’s most notable documentary photographer. His photographs and films of Glasgow from the 1950s through to the 1980s captured a period of enormous change with images of people going about their lives in the city, at work and at leisure.
Many of the black and white images depict children playing in the streets, and many simply capture the city in bygone days. Some of his most well known images detail Glasgow’s Gorbals community in the 1960s. He was a photographer of great ability who captured the nature of the city and people with sensitivity and empathy. Whilst many of Marzaroli’s photographs of Glasgow are instantly recognisable, such as ‘The Castlemilk Lads’ or ‘The Golden Haired Lass’, Marzaroli worked all over Scotland and further afield as a photographer and filmmaker. An extensive range of the subject matter will be embraced in this exhibition.
Through portraits and landscapes, Marzaroli captured Scotland during an exceptional time when city slums were being cleared to make way for new social housing. It is said his images perfectly encapsulate the atmosphere surrounding those fundamental shifts in society.
In the 1980s, his work was brought to a new audience when the band Deacon Blue used his images of the city and its people on their record covers. The cover of their debut album, Raintown, was taken by Marzaroli and depicted a rainy day over Glasgow’s west end with the Finnieston Crane in the background. His death on 26 August 1988, at the age of 55, left a huge body of work – more than 50,000 photographs taken by him have recently been donated to Glasgow Caledonian University. Street Level is currently working with the family and GCU in bringing the work to even wider public recognition.