The Great Stadiums of the North

02 Apr ‘16
Image of a football stadium

9.00AM - 11.24AM

Venue: Art Collection, Pathfoot Building, University of Stirling

Glasgow-based photographer Brian Sweeney is a risk-taker who finds a challenging beauty in his photography. Although he is best known for his garrulous personality and his love of Glasgow nightlife where he has taken photographs that are bold, strident and sexually challenging, this exhibition takes risks with the remote and the understated and are the polar opposite of much of his lifestyle work where he is a prominent photographer for the television station Channel 4, major brands, and The Sub Club, Glasgow's underground haven of electronic dance music. 

The photographs in this exhibition are by contrast are quiet, understated and intensely remote. Many were taken on journeys to the most remote football grounds in Scotland, to John O'Groats, to island pitches on the rugged west coast and to Ardgay near Glenmorangie. The images are shot mostly in natural morning light as the sun struggles to rise through bleak clouds. Although they can seem cold, isolated and unwelcoming they are a searing comment on the real roots of a community game that has been vandalised by television, fake glamour and hyped wealth. 

According to Sweeney, the collection began as far back as 1995. It was a growing reputation as a music and lifestyle photographer that took him to Iceland. Chastened by what he saw there and the way that small community clubs became the foundations of Iceland's football revolution in Iceland, Sweeney returned home to Scotland where he is a proud advocate of community clubs. 

On Saturday he travels with Albion Rovers, the club closest to his heart, a love affair triggered by his grandfather who first introduced him to a world of underdogs and outsiders. On his travels to the remote edges of Scotland, Sweeney has found an alienating beauty in the remote fields and rusting crossbars of real football.

Please note that the Pathfoot Building and the Art Collection based in this building is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm only. 

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