A while back I blogged about Raymond Depardon’s tragic,but yet stunning pictures of Glasgow. Recently the pictures of the photographer Hugh Hood was brought to my attention off the back of this article in the Guardian about the photographer Nick Hedges and his work across the UK for the housing charity Shelter.
Hugh Hood worked in the 1970’s which was a massive time of change for Glasgow. I myself remember being decanted from our tenement as it was sandblasted of a century’s grime and filth to reveal the sandstone underneath it. I also remember growing up around Maryhill/Possil/Milton seeing the sort of poverty that I’d thought I’d never see again, but sadly is starting to creep back in parts of the UK.
Hood’s pictures are painfully nostalgic for me. I remember this awakening of Glasgow that still continues as it shook off the grinding poverty that enveloped large parts of the city wherever you went. Even round the West End you’d see wee bomb sites or run down houses. Not now of course, but in the 70’s and 80’s it was possible to stumble across the sort of bleak emptiness contained in these pictures.
Playing by the middens was something every kid by me did. Kids would be in the most abject poverty but parents would ensure they were clean and what clothes we had weren’t ripped to pieces or filthy. In all though though I remember times of serious hardship but a trip to somewhere like the Barras would shine light upon kids like me who could explore and find little gems, in my case comics.
Hood’s pictures show the concrete of the new 1970’s Glasgow coming though as well as the near Victorian poverty of the time. There’s something lovely about this picture. I think it’s the kids playing in what is a pretty grim backdrop and the concrete walkway of Anderston.
Hood’s picture are stunning. Every one tells a little tale, or reveals a memory long though lost in a way that probably only photographs can do.
I’d strongly advise going to his website or hunting down his pictures when they appear in an exhibition hopefully near you. You’re not going to regret it.