Sporadic ramblings from an itinerant photographer

Home and away with the National Theatre of Scotland

Today, tickets went on sale for the National Theatre of Scotland’s exciting new project, Home Away 2016. In autumn 2016, ten theatre companies from around the world will come together to present a series of productions telling stories from their location. Some weeks ago, Jack (my loyal dog-come-photography assistant) and I packed my camera and headed out to five of these locations across Scotland, to create portraits of some of the participants in the productions.

Home and Away - National Theatre of Scotland. Design by Gabriella Marcella at Risotto

Home and Away – National Theatre of Scotland. Design by Gabriella Marcella at Risotto


Shop talk

As you may know, I’m working on an exciting project at the moment, with long-time collaborators, O Street, and a construction organisation who I volunteered with in Sierra Leone called Orkidstudio. The project actually began in 2014, when I travelled to Kenema with Orkidstudio, photographing a community who were building a new school for Swawou School Foundation. The building was to provide new facilities for local, underprivileged girls to get a better education, joining up innovative design and construction techniques to make a building that would work for years to come.

A market stallholder selling fruit and vegetables in Kenema (c) Peter Dibdin

A market stallholder selling fruit and vegetables in Kenema

Art, nature and fun at Jupiter Artland

Rather than spending this evening as I usually would on a Friday, with a glass of wine in my hand and enjoying my new fire stove (yes, in Edinburgh it is still just about cool enough to use), I am heading out to the wonderful Jupiter Artland as they celebrate their summer season opening. Although I am sure I will get a glass of wine at some point, I’ll be there on a more professional basis to take photos – capturing the reactions of their invited guests to see this year’s artwork. After months of being locked away to the public, the park will be back open as of tomorrow and I’m sure it will be another brilliant year.

Children enjoying 'Cells of Life' by Charles Jencks

Children enjoying ‘Cells of Life’ by Charles Jencks

Swapping Summerhall for Sierra Leone

This month, I’ve swapped my studio in Summerhall for the altogether warmer climes of Sierra Leone. I first went in 2014 with a Scottish architecture / construction charity, OrkidStudio, to take some photos of a new girls school they were building in Kenema. I instantly fell in love with Sierra Leone, but shortly after I returned to Scotland, was devastated to hear about the Ebola outbreak in the region I was just in. When I looked at my photos I would wonder how my new friends there were coping with this tragic pandemic, and feel helpless to their fight.

Swawou pupil in the new school

One of the Swawou School girls in her new classroom.

Ten years of the National Theatre of Scotland

National Theatre of Scotland. Home. Dundee

National Theatre of Scotland. Home. Dundee

Ten years ago last month marks a decade since the National Theatre of Scotland nailed their colours to the mast and declared themselves open. Rather than choose one production in one location, they created HOME – a series of plays taking place in one weekend across Scotland. I was lucky enough to be invited on board, to capture five of their nine events in one weekend.

Bethany Trust Annual Report 2015 with Teviot Creative

One of the things that I love about my job is meeting a huge variety of people.  In the summer I worked with the very talented Adam Wilson of Teviot photographing a series of portraits for the Bethany Trust annual report.  We traveled all around the country meeting all sorts of inspirational faces, both people who had turned their lives around but also the people who supported them through it.  I’m looking forward to getting hold of a printed copy but in the mean time here is a link to the digital version (Thanks to Adam for the images of the printed report)


Bethany Annual Report 2015

Bethany Annual Report 2015


Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour

Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour

Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour

I was in Glasgow the other week working with the National theatre of Scotland on press and marketing shots for Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour during rehearsal. This is Vicky Featherstone’s first return to the NTS after taking up her post at the Royal Court, London. I could see that this raucous new play, written by Lee Hall, was a great show, now the world premiere is at Edinburgh Festival, already a sell out, with this incredibly talented group of actors receiving excellent reviews.


Edinburgh International Science Festival Exhibitions at Summerhall

I shot a couple of portraits for publicity for the Exhibitions at Summerhall as part of the Edinburgh International Science Festival.  There were only a few of the many artists exhibiting available to pose but I photographed William Latham, in front of one of his projections, which are kind of morpheus organic shapes which react to the audience.  Gerry Loose and Morven Gregor are two of the artists in the Sylva Caledonia Exhibitions the are part of the Carbeth Hutters and produce some interesting text and nature based work. Julia Malle was commissioned by Summerhall and the Edinburgh International Science Festival to create a new piece of work in the foyer of Summerhall.

Julia Malle infront of her art work comissioned by Summerhall and Edinburgh International Science Festival at the opening evening.

Julia Malle in front of her art work commissioned by Summerhall and Edinburgh International Science Festival at the opening evening.


George Pitcher

Today is George Pitcher’s funeral. 

In 2013 I photographed him for my Southsiders project.  He was a man who was always on a mission, in a time when the Church of England are saying that voting is a moral issue, he was the embodiment of what I think they are getting at.  Its not that everyone should vote, its that politically everybody should engage and this is exactly what he did.  On a local level he saw the wrongs in life and fought hard to right them, he saw that he could make a difference rather than waiting for someone to come and do it for him.  He ruffled feathers, he probably was wrong about things at times but what he did was do it, he put him self out there and stood for something he believed in. 

Thank you George for everything, you inspired me.

George Pitcher, Community Activist  Southsiders: Portrait of a Community is an artistic project by Peter Dibdin using both photography and audio, in print and online to celebrate and explore perceptions around the identity of the Southside community of Edinburgh, Scotland.  All 32 portraits and their audio narratives can be viewed at http://www.edinburghsouthsiders.co.uk   Thirty-eight people who live, work or have a connection to the city's Southside area have generously given their time to be photographed by Edinburgh based photographer Peter Dibdin in locations holding a special significance for them.  Each participant has also recorded the audio story behind their portrait to uncover the moving, inspirational and significant contribution the Southside makes to the history and heritage of Edinburgh.

George Pitcher