Robert Blomfield: Edinburgh Street Photography An Unseen Archive

HOMEPAGE ART & EXHIBITION REVIEWS

 

Photo Robert Blomfield, Childhood Friends, Edinburgh, 1966. © the artist

 

In 1956, the 18 year old Robert Blomfield arrived in Edinburgh to study medicine at the University of Edinburgh.  In his spare time, he pursued his hobby of photography, with a particular interest in “street photography”, taking candid images of the everyday life and people of the city.

Blomfield continued his street photography through the 1960s and into the 1970s, but his busy medical career meant that his thousands of images – negatives, prints, and slides – were simply stored away in boxes.  They never saw the light of day until, some time after having a stroke in 1999 which forced him to retire, he and his wife Jane took on the task of starting to catalogue and digitise the images.  After Jane’s death, Blomfield’s three sons and his brother continued with this mammoth task, which is still ongoing.

Now, to coincide with his 80th birthday, a selection of his Edinburgh photographs are being exhibited and hopefully Blomfield will be recognised as one of the great photographers of his time. From his vast collection, the City Art Centre is showing a selection of around 60 black and white images of life in Edinburgh in the 1960s, which capture a time distant enough to seem like a different world, but recent enough to evoke many memories in those of us who were around then.  Blomfield photographed people of all ages, from babies to the elderly.  The photographs of children playing in the streets are a reminder of how much more freedom they had then, in a time when a stranger could come along and take photographs without his intentions being questioned.  Amongst the photographs on display, there are images which are humorous, others which are tender and moving, still others which are simply well-observed moments.

Blomfield’s photographs remind me of several well-known photographers, such as Oscar Marzaroli, Bert Hardy, and Robert Doisneau, and he deserves to be every bit as well-known and celebrated as they are.  Blomfield’s archive is a very important record of the changing face of Britain in the 1960s, and I certainly hope that we will get the opportunity to see much more of it in future.

Robert Blomfield : Edinburgh Street Photography is at the City Art Centre, Market Street, Edinburgh from 24th November 2018 until 17th March 2019, and admission is free.

 

Review by Lisa Sibbald

 

REVIEWS

ARTICLES

&

INTERVIEWS

Magazines, websites, publications. If you want to use any of our reviews, or commission reviews and interviews please contact with your requirements.

TOM KING

http://tomkinguk.weebly.com/

FREELANCE WORDS, LYRICS,  REVIEWS  ART  PHOTOS

LISA SIBBALD

 

All reviews are copyright Entertainment & Arts Edinburgh / Southside Advertiser or the review writer and may not be used or reprinted in whole or in part in any medium whatsoever without the written permission of Entertainment Edinburgh / Southside Advertiser or the review writer.

We do however make exception for artists, companies and theatres involved in any review to use reviews (or part of) for their own promotion and publicity