With over 150 events across 10 days, Wigtown Book Festival is one of the largest art events in Scotland, even though it is located in a remote town near the Southern tip of Scotland.
Over the past couple of years, they have teamed up with the organisers of the open studio event, Spring Fling, to install an Artist-in-Residence for the duration of the Festival.
And this year they have chosen me!
So from September 23rd to October 2nd, I will be taking photos of residents, visitors and attending authors – in fact anyone who will allow me to point my camera at them.
I’ve been given a space in "The Hut" behind ReadingLasses café and bookshop, where I will be printing out the photos and pinning them to the walls. As the festival progresses, so the room should fill up with faces.
Unlike my participation in Spring Fling back in May, I won’t be confining myself to a studio space to take the photos, but will also be out and about on the street and venues, photographing whoever I can, and hopefully engaging in conversation with people about what I’m up to, and what books they are reading. Indeed, my hope is to be able to scribble on the photo of most faces going up on the wall, "Currently reading…" or "Favourite genre..." My guess is there will be very few people who will conform to stereotype.
It’s going to take a fair amount of planning to ensure I can fit in taking photos, editing, printing and pinning them to the wall, as well as attending events, having The Hut open for a couple of hours each day, and finding time for an afternoon nap...
It’s also going to be something of a psychological trial, as I will have to overcome a natural reluctance to go up to complete strangers and ask if they mind having their photo taken.
For a copy of the Wigtown Book Festival brochure, which includes a list of all the events, the times and the venues, either click on the following link or right-click and select “Save link as…” to download it to your own computer: