Our time in Holyrood ended on Thursday. With yet more care and attention paid to us right until we left the building.
It was sad to see the crate with all the pictures packed up and the exhibition space now quiet and empty. It had been ours and the womens for the week and now it was left ready for someone else.
As word grew about the exhibition, we got busier each day.
We made friends amongst the catering, security, reception and building staff. Apparently we were called the “nice girls on the corner” and a breathe of fresh air.
Only 1 political party didn’t come to see us. We certainly got a feeling that a few key individuals came because they had to, not because they really wanted to hear or believe what the women had to say. A couple looked as if they would much prefer to be doing a Bruce Willis along the ventilation pipes above our heads or digging a tunnel deep beneath our feet to avoid us. Many others made a real point to find us and hear more from the women. There was a lot of emotion, a couple of disclosures and confessions. They are those people’s stories and they will not be repeated but it shows the power of photography and storytelling.
Friday was another eventful day.
A set of prints were sent up to Aberdeen to the SNP conference where the Encompass Network had been asked to host a stall. Kathryn and I are so protective of the women’s works, it was hard not be there with it all but the front line services are the ones to helped to make this happen and so it is only right that they take it out and also make it their own. The women’s photos yet again were very well received and had a huge impact.
Oh and on Saturday morning Nicola Sturgeon came to the Encompass stall. How great is it that she gave some minutes for the women in prostitution and the workers.
Meanwhile in Dundee, STV asked to come see the exhibition at Studio 11 and interview us. Anne and Cameraman Bob loved the studio, loved the photos and loved the attention to detail. Bob could hardly drag himself away from filming, excited to be covering it. He has been around a fair bit and thought they were of such a high standard. Anne who covers the arts was very impressed and wanted to see if she could hold the segment back from Friday in order to get a longer slot to do justice to it all. Disappointed that we wouldn’t be on that night but even better to know that she was pushing to get more air time for the project and the women. I can’t wait to tell them this. No doubt Kathryn and I will cringe and winch at ourselves on the news but I hope we will have done the women proud.
Our first public outing was on Friday evening in Studio 11, a wonderful space with a buzz of excitement throughout the day. Kathryn will do her own blog post and I don’t want to steal her thunder but suffice to say it was a real warm and heartening night. Genuine care and interest for the women behind their beautiful images and a real connection with their realities.
A meeting early happened this morning in Dundee to look at one of the next venues and after that it was back to the office to follow upon all the enquries about the next phase and to make times to meet with the new women who want to join Insde Outside and tell their stories.
On we and the women’s work go …..