A photography exhibition has been unveiled showcasing Dundee life in the modern era.
Red Sky Photography’s survey of Dundee is the result of a full year of work by a dozen local shutterbugs, who snapped 5,500 frames of city living throughout 2017.
The collective has captured a snapshot of the city frozen in time – celebrating its people, its new-found cultural relevance and much of its architecture, old and new.
The full selection of images now forms a permanent collection in Dundee Libraries’ Local History Department, joining previous surveys carried out in 1991 and 1916.
About 40 of those were hand-picked by Red Sky to create an exhibition that will be on show in Central Library until next week and later tour libraries around the city.
Dundee-born Ian Crighton, one of the photographers involved in the project, said the group was given free rein in choosing what they captured.
“It was a fairly open process as we set about the survey. We just captured events and places that we thought were significant,” he said.
“There are photos of people, of events, the arts, dance activities, things such as the New Year’s Day Dook and a lot of buildings that we thought either were significant or would become significant.
“I was given access to Dens Park, for example, because I imagine in 10 years or so it might no longer exist as we know it.
“I’m quite surprised at what we’ve been able to achieve.”
The Tele was given access to some of the archive and the differences in city life now and then are stark.
The 1916 survey features street scenes in the city centre and atop the Hilltown – and couldn’t be any more different from the snaps from 1991.
Many of the later images show the city at its post-industrial peak, complete with questionable fashion choices and a City Square yet to be pedestrianised.
Red Sky’s modern day survey is packed with sights that are likely to be familiar now – the new railway station entrance under construction, rusted-in tram rails on the Murraygate and dance performances in front of Caird Hall.
Rather topically, there are also photos of William Halley’s mill – now reduced to rubble.
Alistair Wilson, of Dundee Libraries, said the relevance of these photographic surveys becomes very clear after just a few years, giving people a fresh perspective on a city that might have changed without them really noticing.
“The 1991 survey was carried out by Dundee Photographic Society. It and the other surveys act like a social record of how the city was at that time,” he said.
“Looking back at 1991, which doesn’t feel that long ago, you can see so many things have changed – the way people dress, the jobs they have, even the cars on the streets.
“Once the exhibition finishes the plan is that it will move about so everyone can see it.”