The Annan Lectures have been given each spring in Glasgow since its institution in 2006. Currently these lectures take place at Street Level Photoworks. Due to Covid restrictions the 2021 Annan Lecture took place online.
2021 Annan Lecture
Professor Susannah Thompson
‘The camera may never lie but it certainly does not have a monopoly on truth’ (Maud Sulter, 1989)
Maud Sulter (1960-2008) was an award-winning artist, writer, curator and activist of Scots-Ghanaian heritage. Focussing specifically on her work as a lens-based artist, Professor Susannah Thompson will consider Sulter’s legacy in the context of Black British identity, feminism and recent Scottish art, as well as exploring the recent resurgence of interest in her work amongst an emerging generation of feminists and women of colour.
Susannah Thompson on Maud Sulter – MAUD SULTER PASSION
2019 Annan Lecture
Dr Juliet Hacking
Dr Juliet Hacking presented the 2019 Annan Lecture, Photography, The Art World and The Art Market at Street Level Photoworks. She discussed photography’s place within the art world, its rise to be accepted as a major art form and the consequences of that acceptance. Juliet Hacking is the Programme Director of the MA in Contemporary Art at Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London. She started her academic career as a visiting lecturer at the Universities of Derby and Reading and at the Courtauld Institute, before joining the photography department at Sotheby's Auction House and subsequently The Sotheby’s Institute of Art. She held the position of Director of the MA in Photography for 10 years. She is the author of 'Lives of the Great Photographers' (2015), general editor of 'Photography: The Whole Story' (2012) [both Thames & Hudson], and has recently published ‘Photography and the Art Market’ (2018) with (Lund Humphries).
2018 Annan Lecture
Louise Pearson, Photography Curator at the National Galleries of Scotland gave the 2018 Annan Lecture entitled Developing the Picture: Scotland’s Photography Collection. She drew on a wealth of experience she has garnered caring for and promoting Scotland’s national collection of photography: a bank of over 40,000 photographs from the earliest examples of photography to contemporary work.
2017 Annan Lecture
Zelda Cheatle, acclaimed curator, lecturer, editor and publisher delivered the 2017 Annan Lecture, Talking about Photography. Zelda Cheatle established her Gallery Career at the renowned Photographer’s Gallery in London before opening and running the Zelda Cheatle Gallery from 1989-2003. She exhibited work by Eve Arnold, Berenice Abbot, Eugene Atget, Andre Kertesz, Lee Freidlander, Robert Frank and Bill Brandt, amongst many others, while championing emerging artists. She has also served as a visiting lecturer in both Photography B.A. and M.A. Courses at universities across the UK including Central St Martins, University of Ulster, Belfast and Sotheby’s Institute.She has most recently curated exhibitions at Sony World Photography Awards and Art Jameel.
2016 Annan Lecture
Dr Roberta McGrath
The 2016 Annan Lecture, The Wide Margins of Photographic History, by Dr Roberta McGrath discussed the importance of other histories and theories and what it means to look at a photograph. Dr Roberta McGrath is Associate Lecturer in Photographic Theory and Criticism at Edinburgh Napier University. She has published much on the history, theory and politics of photography, including Seeing her Sex: Medical Archives and the Female Body and History Read Backward: Memory, Migration and the Photographic Archive. She is a leading authority on visual representation and the way in which images are viewed and consumed. She regularly lectures for the National Galleries of Scotland and is a contributor to Source photographic magazine.
2015 Annan Lecture
Anne McNeil, the director of Impressions Gallery presented This Much I Know, a discourse sharing the lessons learned in a photography career for the 2015 Annan Lecture. Anne has been working in the field of photography since 1984, where she served as a darkroom worker at Camerawork in London. She established Photoworks in the early 90s, and has been the director and curator of Impressions Gallery since 2000. Since its inception in 1972, as one of the first photographic galleries in Europe, it has become of the the UK’s premier venues for contemporary photography. Anne is regularly invited to be a judge at international awards, most recently for the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Grant, New York.
2014 Annan Lecture
Dr Annie Lyden
From Glasgow to Edinburgh, by way of Los Angeles: a curatorial journey, the 2014 Annan Lecture by Dr Annie Lyden, was a unique talk narrating Annie’s eighteen years of experience working as Associate Curator of Photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles and her return to Scotland to take the position of International Photography Curator at the National Galleries of Scotland. She is the author of several publications, including Railroad Vision: Photography, Travel and Perception, The Photographs of Frederick H. Evans and A Royal Passion: Queen Victoria and Photography. She is now the Chief Curator of Photography for the National Galleries of Scotland.
2013 Annan Lecture
Dr Mike Ware
Chemist and Photographer Dr Mike Ware presented the 2013 Annan Lecture: ‘Cyanotype: A Blueprint for Visual Vandalism?’. Ware received his doctorate from Oxford University in molecular spectroscopy in 1965, taught at the University of Manchester and became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 1982. His study has centred on the science, history and art of alternative photographic processes, earlier methods of printing photographic images that were succeeded by the more common silver-gelatin used today. He is active as a consultant for noted institutions including the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Royal Collage of Art, and published works including Cyanotype: The History, Science and Art of Photographic Printing in Prussian Blue, and Mechanisms of Image Deterioration in Early Photographs: The Sensitivity to Light of W H F Talbot’s Halide-fixed Images. He runs a website with practical instructions for historic photographic techniques and papers on conservation, historical essays and lists of resources.
2012 Annan Lecture
James Robertson in conversation with Robin Gillanders.
SSHoP hosted a conversation between the Scottish writer James Robertson and photographer Robin Gillanders for the 2012 Annan Lecture on ‘The Word and the Image: Narrative in Fiction and Photography.’ James Robertson is the author of several short story and poetry collections and serve as the first writer in residence at the Scottish Parliament. Robertson has published six novels: The Fanatic, Joseph Knight (Saltire Society Scottish Book of the Year 2003, Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year award), The Testament of Gideon Mack (long-listed for the 2006 Man Booker Prize), And the Land Lay Still (Saltire Society Scottish Book of the Year 2010), The Professor of Truth, and To Be Continued… (shortlisted for the Wodehouse Comic Fiction Prize 2017).James Robertson also translates classic children novels into Scots. Robin Gillanders is an Edinburgh based photographic artist, working primarily in black and white film and digital photography. He is is best known as a portrait photographer, and for projects including Little Sparta: Portrait of a Garden, made in the garden of the artist and poet Ian Hamilton Finlay between 1994 and 2004 and Highland Journey, inspired by the writer poet Edwin Muir. For this Robin Gillanders spent 80 days travelling the highlands in a van he modified to accommodate a darkroom. He published 50 of the images from his 5,000 mile journey in Highland Journey: In the Spirit of Edwin Muir in 2009.
2011 Annan Lecture
In 2011 John Hume gave the Annan Lecture on the unknown works photographers who worked in and for Scottish industrial firms. After teaching economic and industrial history at Strathclyde University for many years and serving as Chief Inspector of Historic Buildings for Historic Scotland Hume was awarded the OBE in 1998. He was instrumental in setting up local heritage organisations in Glasgow and has written major reference books on Glasgow’s industrial heritage. In 2019 The Glasgow City Heritage Trust exhibited End of the Line: Photographs of Glasgow’s Industrial Past by John Hume, shedding a light on Glasgow’s industrial decline since the 1960s.
2010 Annan Lecture
In 2010 SSHoP invited Joe Mulholland to give the Annan Lecture, telling the remarkable story of his former Glasgow neighbour and the discovery of an archive of work by Margaret Watkins. Margaret Watkins (1884-1969) was a Canadian photographer of Scottish descent who was unknown for most of her life time. 40 years after her death galleries and journalist Joe Mulholland discovered her archive of several thousand negatives, photographs and contact sheets. Mulholland managed to piece a together a history of Margaret Watkins, life in New York in the 1920s, street life in Moscow and Leningrad in the 1930 and her move to Glasgow to take care of ailing aunts. As proprietor of the Hidden Lane Gallery, Joe Mulholland has been championing the archive since his discovery in 1986, organising retrospectives at the National Gallery of Canada and National Gallery of Scotland.