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Made in Maryhill: Gordon’s images show city in different light

By on December 8, 2015
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Amateur photographer Gordon McCracken was born in Dennistoun but after working away from the city returned 17 years ago and made his home in Maryhill.

Earlier this year he started to document the places he visited around the city, with the aim of showing “a different side to Glasgow than is usually seen in images” – “and worthy of the name, Dear Green Place”.

Some of Gordon’s images are on this page – and you can find his slideshows online here www.dailymotion.com/MadeinMaryhill

Here, Gordon explains why he began to take pictures and what inspires him:

“I’m a musician and so although I do feel creative, I can’t draw. I used to have a camera that I used for holiday snaps – and not very good ones at that! In 2004 I went to the US for the first time and bought a cheap 35mm camera and a couple of rolls of film. I had a great time and I took a lot of pictures, saving them onto a CD.

“I started to look at what I had photographed and picked out some of the images, putting them on my computer as a screensaver. People noticed them and would say they looked good. A few years later I got a digital camera, and thought, as a hobby, this really costs you nothing. I spent days shooting pictures like mad.

“Last year, for a number of reasons, I had stopped though, and the camera was put away. I had been unwell this summer, and as I started to feel a bit better I thought I’d dig out the old camera. I did and unfortunately it then broke down. So I bought a new digital camera, a cheap nikon, 16 megapixels.

“I was right back into it again. I created two slideshows and last month in November, I put it online. There’s been a very positive reaction, which is great. I really fell in love with Glasgow. I don’t drive and walk everywhere, so it allows me to enjoy the architecture and the nature that I love.

“It’s perhaps as you get older that you really appreciate mother nature and how beautiful and complex are the plants and wildlife that surround us. It’s profound. As I feel this real connection, I wanted to do something with it – to show a different side to Glasgow.

“It’s such a small city, and beautiful, with so many parks. From Ruchill, at the flagpole which is the highest point in the city, you get some amazing views. In Springburn, there is such a beautiful park but many people probably don’t realise it.

“The locations I shot are not on the regular tourist routes but still possess great architecture, beautiful parks and surprise, surprise, lots of sunshine. The places I visited include Ruchill, Possilpark, Springburn, Dennistoun, Whiteinch, Anniesland, Port Dundas, Maryhill, of course, as well as the west end, city centre and Riverside.

“I suppose another part of it is I’m trying to document things. When you see some of the cast iron statues and fountains in the parks, and you remember that it was here in Glasgow where the first car in the UK, the Arrol, was built. All the steel, all the iron foundries – all lost now.

“What’s left is rusting away and once it goes it can never be replaced.”

Images all copyright Gordon McCracken

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