Photographer Simon Murphy aims to give an insight into the diverse and vibrant area of Govanhill with a series of portraits to be displayed in windows as part of a photo trail during the Govanhill International Festival 2020.
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“Brilliant exhibition! We met so many people who had come into the area for the first time in ages. Really good for the local businesses. We had lots of fun wandering around. I live in the area and go out here all the time but it still seemed to give a fresh perspective.” - Morag Ramsay
“Loved the trail. Great, arresting shots capturing the diversity of Govanhill. I was talking to one of the subjects, who is a really anxious wee soul. I was trying to get him to speak to me about an issue - which can be really hard - and I started to talk about Simon taking his picture, and that I knew Simon and that I had seen it displayed. Great big smile and a wee bit of dialogue ensued. So, Simon’s portraits are sparking good chat, even in ways you wouldn’t imagine” - Wendy English, Deputy Head Teacher, Annette St School Govanhill
“Really great work, such a sense of belonging. I really enjoyed wandering around and finding them and chatting to the shop owners who were proud and delighted. Such great strength and it felt so rightly placed. Thank you.” - Stephen Skrynka
Simon Murphy began photographing Govanhill when he lived there in the early 2000s, and the project has grown into a commitment with Murphy self-publishing a series of photographic newspapers that can be picked up free in Govanhill shops and cafes. This exhibition is part of an ongoing project.
His career as a photojournalist has enabled him to travel extensively shooting human interest stories in countries such as Bangladesh, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Cambodia. His portraiture subjects range from individuals such as the Dalai Lama to musicians and actors including Noel Gallagher, Bobby Gillespie and John Hurt.
'Although each portrait is of an individual and carries its own story, collectively the work is a portrait of the place and a celebration of one of the most diverse and vibrant areas of the city.
The project is about community and diversity. Govanhill is not without it’s problems but it’s also a place where people come together and share culture and experience. It’s an exciting place that I love and where I have many connections.
My images have always been about celebrating diversity and seeing beauty in our differences. Sometimes it's important to ask yourself difficult questions and Photography has the power to trigger thoughts in people's minds that can plant the seeds for change'. - Simon Murphy
An exhibition of Simon's 'Govanhill' project will also take place in Trongate 103 in 2021.
Images: © Simon Murphy