Margaret Mitchell - An Ordinary Eden
6th May - 16th July 2023
Street Level Photoworks are pleased to present An Ordinary Eden, a new solo exhibition by Margaret Mitchell, which explores the importance of housing, home and belonging.
An Ordinary Eden is a story of experiences that remain hidden to most. A story of displacement, of instability, of a failure in society to adequately support our fellow humans. To be without a permanent home is both a tangible and an emotional experience, where the necessity for safety and security accompanies a need to belong. In An Ordinary Eden, individuals in Scotland offer an insight into the practical and psychosocial impact of past or current homelessness and their search for home and connection.
This long-term project highlights aspects of people’s experiences and amplifies the issues faced. Reflecting not only on the individual’s personal story but also on the wider questions about our society and who we want to be. A society that cares for others in a timely manner or one that ignores, disregards, doesn’t try hard enough. Within this work are lives full of determination and dignity but also those damaged by isolation and needless years lost.
For this is not a search for utopia, an unreachable fantasy. It is the simple wish for a regular life. A pursuit for each individual’s Ordinary Eden.
For this project, Margaret worked with individuals and organisations across Scotland including Shelter Scotland, and received support from Creative Scotland for the development of the work. The exhibition has been produced by Street Level Photoworks.
View the Virtual Exhibition Here
Margaret Mitchell is an award-winning photographer based in Glasgow. Her work ranges from exploring communities and children’s worlds through to long-term projects on social inequality. Bridging the psychological and the social, her work explores the intricacies and complexities of people’s lives with a particular emphasis on place and belonging. She has exhibited widely including at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh (2017 & 2022) and at the National Portrait Gallery, London as part of the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize (2014 & 2022). As a consequence of exhibiting 'In This Place' as part of 'AMBIT - Photographies from Scotland' at Street Level Photoworks in 2017, her work was acquired for the permanent collections of the National Galleries of Scotland and she also has work in the collection of the Martin Parr Foundation. Her book ‘Passage’ (Bluecoat Press, 2021) reflects on a cycle of inequality, asking questions on the nature of disadvantage and privilege in a study over three generations. Recognition includes the Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award (2022: Honourable Mention), the Sony World Photography Awards (2018, Contemporary Issues, 2nd) and the Royal Photographic Society IPE (2017, 1st). She works both on personal projects and commissions and work has been featured in the Guardian, De Correspondent, and the New Statesman amongst others.
Images: © Margaret Mitchell