RCAHMS collaboration /



An ongoing, joint research project conducted by Andy Lock and Iain Anderson. The project stems from a shared preoccupation with the complex and problematic role of photography in the representation of buildings. Arising from and grounded in practice, our research is shaped by and conducted through an ongoing series of case studies: exercises in the photographic recording and representation of specific buildings. Andy’s practice involves the making and critical interrogation of photographs of place; not primarily as a response to ‘architectural’ space itself, but to the consequences and products of an amalgam of intents, actions and agencies, which have acted upon or within architectural space; creating photographs, which are not dispassionate, disinterested photographic records, but highly motivated and ultimately ‘emotive’ representations. Iain’s work - for the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland - is concerned with the commissioning and interpretation of 'architectural' photographic surveys of buildings, for archival purposes. Each practice in its engagement with specific buildings, prompts questions and observations which frame the critical dialogue informing this research.

The vestry, Castlemilk West Church, Glasgow: two bar fire and mosaic,  image © andy lock 2013

St Brides Church (above) in East Kilbride and Castlemilk West parish church (left) are both a part of our research. The former designed by Gillespie, Kidd, Coia and completed in 1964, the latter designed by Gratton & McLean in 1957. Castlemilk West is now listed, but threatened with demolition. St Brides is listed and undergoing renovation.

In this image of Castlemilk West’s vestry, the photograph excludes (spatial) context, to focus on specific objects; in so doing lending them particular significance. However, while the view of the mosaic and two-bar fire is spatially exclusive it opens onto a breadth of time. The photograph offers a representation of “present reality”, tied simultaneously to an idealistic yet anachronistic vision of the future (embodied by the mosaic itself, dating from 1964 and titled ‘Church and Community’).

At Deans South, Livingston (below), a further example of post-war buildings “at risk” presents a curious spectacle. An estate partially abandoned and at risk of demolition, where the grounds surrounding the boarded-up buildings remain immaculately tended and manicured to uncanny effect.

Deans South, Livingston, 2013, image © andy lock 2013

The presbytery, St Brides Church, East Kilbride, image © andy lock 2014

Deans South, Livingston, 2013, image © andy lock 2013