The blog of photographer Kim Ayres

Launch of The Workshop Gallery

The Galloway Photographic Collective was launched earlier this year – 7 local, professional photographers (including me) coming together to pool resources and marketing power - with an aim to highlight the captivating photography produced in this beautiful part of Scotland and to raise the profile of photography as an art form.

Although we periodically have group exhibitions and a couple of members have their own galleries, we talked at various times of having a permanent or semi-permanent outlet for work by the Collective, but costs for both a suitable space and staffing proved to be prohibitive.

However, a chance conversation with Kenny, a man I met several years ago when his daughter and mine were in the same class at school, seemed to offer up a possible solution.

A.D. Livingston & Sons are antique restorers and furniture makers, run by two brothers – one of whom is the aforementioned daughter’s friend’s father.

Their workshop is situated in an old 18th century courtyard off the high street of Castle Douglas, the town where we live. It’s quite a large space and for years contained both their workshop and showroom. Not too long ago they acquired a shop on the high street just a couple of doors up, which they now use as their primary outlet. This meant the original showroom was just being used as storage space and Kenny and Ian started thinking about other possible uses.

The upshot of all this is last week several of us were down there one evening to help paint the room, and yesterday we were busy hanging the photos. And tonight (Thursday 29th) at 7pm is the launch of The Workshop Gallery featuring the work of the Galloway Photographic Collective. You can find the Facebook Event Page here –

It’s a slightly different affair for me than the rest of the Collective. All of the others have photos to be sold off the wall. For me, as a portrait photographer, I don’t expect anyone to buy my photos in that way: what I’m selling is a unique, personally tailored experience rather than scenic artwork. As such what I have to do is put up images to give people a taste of what I can do for them, and hopefully inspire them enough to pick up the phone and book a session with me.

If you can come along, please do. If you can’t but can tell a friend, please do. And if you can’t because you’re on the wrong side of the planet, then start thinking about your next trip to Scotland.

Meanwhile, here are a few photos I took when we were setting up yesterday.

Morag eating a roll from the Deli for breakfast. Some of the eagle-eyed among you might see the Hollywood-style photo of Pat I did earlier in the year

Ian Biggar was also taking photos when he should have been hanging pictures. Off to the left of the image, it leads back to the workshop where the brothers do their furniture building and restoring.

You can never have too much bubble-wrap...

The launch went well. Despite fears it might only be us and a few family members turning up, in the end it was a respectable turnout, even though there were sub-zero temperatures outside.

I'm not that great at visualising, so even when we were hanging the photos on Wednesday I wasn't entirely sure how it was going to look, but I have to confess I was delighted when I arrived. With bits of furniture and the lighting installed I was impressed with how it appeared.

Here are a few more photos...

Waiting for the first guests to arrive

Kenny's daughters made some lovely wee cupcakes for the occasion

A good turn out on a cold winter night with plenty of people coming and going over a couple of hours


Nan said...

What a great space!!! I just love the work you do. If I were in Scotland I would definitely book a session!

Kim Ayres said...

Thanks Nan - now we just have to figure out how to get you to Scotland :)

Titus said...

So cool! Good Luck! And I hope tonight went brilliantly.

Will drop in next time I'm your side of the county.

neena maiya (guyana gyal) said...

Hooray, hooray! It's the beginning of something great.

I hope you get musicians, actors, all kinds of famous people knocking at your doors, Kim.

Y'know, this is what I've been telling creative people here, they need to work towards their goals. Instead, they sit and moan and groan how the govt. isn't giving them a building, and they're not getting this or that.

Kim Ayres said...

JoAnne - thank you - it went well. And definitely let me know when you're this way again and we can go for a coffee :)

GG - Referring to the launch last night, Kenny said - here in Galloway we have to make our own entertainment because no one else is going to do it for us...

hope said...

It all looks so inviting!

We need to make you super famous so you can send your jet to pick the rest of us up for a session. ;)

Kim Ayres said...

Hope - sounds good to me! I hope you have a plan... :)

neena maiya (guyana gyal) said...

That was quite a good turn out, Kim.

I like your and Kenny's attitude, and all the others who go and do!

Thanks to bloggers and the creative people out there, all that energy I feel online, I am so motivated.

savannah said...

looks as if y'all had a fantastic turnout! how exciting for you, sugar! now, all i need is to get there!!!! xoxoxoxo

Pat said...

It all looks great - especially the cup cakes. What a splendid idea.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful photographs. I'm one of those that needs to plan a trip to that side of the planet as you know.

Kim Ayres said...

GG - if you're on Facebook, the Collective has a page at - :)

Savannah - I look forward to when you do :)

Pat - the cup cakes were lovely :)

Allen - and when you get here I'll swap you a photo for a sketch :)

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