Back Doon the Watter by Mandy Edwards
Gallery 103, Trongate 103
Monday 10-5pm : Tuesday -Saturday 10-6pm : Sunday 12-5pm
Back Doon the Watter began as a follow up to Mandy Edwards’ previous project on lockdown in West Kilbride, focused on the return of the traditional holiday along the Clyde Rivera. However, the more she travelled and photographed, the more she appreciated that the love of going Doon the Watter never went away, and never will.
The project, then, is a celebration of the west coast and our enduring joy in all elements that make it so special to us. It’s something that’s woven into the fabric of all our lives, and that’s what we hope the work shows. 'Back Doon the Watter' has also been turned into a short film which she toured around the Clyde Riviera in her van, converted into a mobile cinema. The full exhibition, with audio reminiscences and slideshows of historic images, was shown at Millport's Garrison House in September and October 2023; it will also be shown during 2024 at North Ayrshire Heritage Centre in Saltcoats.
Mandy Edwards was born and raised in Glasgow and her work has always embraced the community on her doorstep, with past projects covering Glasgow's Polish community, the Show community, Partick's bingo hall, and one of Glasgow's last remaining staffed launderettes. Her project ‘A Celebration’ captured shopkeepers whose role at the heart of their community was threatened by the redevelopment accompanying preparations for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. That project was supported by Street Level Photoworks, and was shown at Trongate 103 in 2010; at Hillhead Library, Platform (Easterhouse) and at Dunoon Burgh Hall.. Four of the images from 'A Celebration' were later selected for the shortlist of the Royal Photographic Society's RPS 165 this year.
Moving to North Ayrshire, that focus has continued, leading to a project on lockdown in her home village ('Another Time of Being', shown at West Kilbride's Barony Centre and Irvine Harbour Arts Centre in 2021 and 2022), and to a film portrait of nuns in the community of Saltcoats ('Tranquil Daring' 2022; selected and exhibited for the Dick Institute Open 2023). During 2022 Mandy was selected as an Artist in Residence at Zengarden, Fellingsbro, Sweden, a residency supported by a bursary from Creative Scotland.