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Wedding favour: artist seeks photographs of marriages in city

AN award-winning artist creating a film about the history of immigration in Glasgow to accompany the Commonwealth Games is asking residents to send him their wedding photographs.

RETROSPECTIVE: Artist Phil Collins is making a film charting the history of immigration in Glasgow as part of the Games celebrations. Picture: Mark Mainz
RETROSPECTIVE: Artist Phil Collins is making a film charting the history of immigration in Glasgow as part of the Games celebrations. Picture: Mark Mainz

As part of the cultural celebrations of the Commonwealth Games next year, the Turner Prize-nominated film artist Phil Collins wants to gather as many images of weddings, engagements and commitment ceremonies as possible in the coming months. His new work will take the structure of a "day in the life" of the city.

Collins, whose father was from the east end of Glasgow and who used to live in the city, will show his film in Queen's Park next year. It will focus on the immigrant history of the city from the 1950s to the present day.

He said: "I am looking at finding characters and stories and individuals and groups who can tell something of being from, or moving to Glasgow, and that could be people of Pakistani or Bangladeshi heritage who moved here in the 1950s or the Chinese community from the 1960s, or more recently, Polish people.

"It's about looking for an inclusive idea of what makes Glasgow. The site of Queen's Park, and what surrounds it, is really interesting - you have the Vicky [Victoria Infirmary], Pollokshields with its Pakistani Glaswegian community, you have Govanhill nearby, so you have a lot of people near a public space which has a history all of its own."

Collins said he wants ­Glaswegians who have an "amazing story to tell" to get in contact with him so he can consider them for his film.

He said wedding photographs are not only images of personal relationships but also display history, fashion and social changes over the years. "We are asking people to send them in, because there are sequences which are about every potential moment of our day to day existence," he said.

Collins added: "I have had a love affair with the city, but I don't know whether anyone ever fully knows Glasgow - it is full of contradictions, there are multiple histories.

"It is one of the places where you can really say the people make the city, what makes Glasgow is Glaswegians - you can say that of Liverpool and Manchester, but in other cities, the city is bigger than the people in it, but you cannot say that of Glasgow."

Collins was shortlisted for the Turner Prize, the most prestigious award in contemporary art, in 2006.

Born in Runcorn in 1960, he studied at Manchester and Belfast universities. In 2001, he won a Paul Hamlyn Award for visual arts and currently teaches in Cologne as well as working in Berlin. In Glasgow, he is currently investigating various institutions including Barlinnie Prison.

The gallery The Common Guild, which is working with Collins on the film, said they were looking for photos of the "widest range of engagements, commitment ceremonies and weddings from the last 100 years in Glasgow."

"These can be traditional or unconventional records of all kinds of relationships — marriages, deep friendships or secret love affairs," it said.

l Pictures can be sent to info@thecommonguild.org.uk as scans, or call 0141 428 3022 for more details.

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