Published On: Thu, Jan 3rd, 2013

Glasgow’s Canal Culture by Ed Smith

Ed Smith is a Glasgow-based Photographer. Ed’s work has been a selected winner and short-listed in numerous photographic awards, most recently in 2011, when he was named in the Magenta Foundation’s top emerging photographers in Great Britain, Canada and the USA, and published in the Sunday Times Magazine as a rising star of British photography.

Ed is known to strike up conversations with everyone and anyone, and is always enticed by learning about exceptional lifestyles and communities, which he believes are always much closer to home than imagined. These traits are coming in handy whilst pursuing long-term projects and assignments.

A few months ago I started photographing on the Forth and Clyde Canal, just north of Glasgow’s city centre. Using the tow path as a running route, I was inspired by the connection it created between people on the canal side. Its banks represent an area of common ground which breaks down social barriers and becomes a community in its own right. Constantly fluctuating through minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and so on, this transient community exists as a perception of the liminal with a character that shifts and and evolves like that of a weather system.

This is an ongoing body of work which will evolve over the coming months.

I’ve been going up to the Forth and Clyde canal over the last couple of weeks, getting to know some of the people who regularly use it and documenting the diversity of this area. The project is going to be a long-term body of work, to make sure I have images that hold weight from all seasons, in all conditions and of people from all social backgrounds in keeping with the reality of the place. Just now it’s getting quiet due to some bad weather but never the less I’m finding the area a great source of inspiration. So many satellite communities provide an abundance of variety that new project ideas have come to light, which I hope to engage with fully in the New Year after contacts have been made and research done.







Words and images by Ed Smith