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Lockdown images captured by Highland photographer Alison White get special showcase in Eastgate Shopping Centre


By Val Sweeney

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Alison White with daughter, Erin, at the new community gallery in the Eastgate Shopping Centre.
Alison White with daughter, Erin, at the new community gallery in the Eastgate Shopping Centre.

Images of people on their doorsteps during the unsettling days of lockdown have been unveiled in a topical new exhibition unveiled at the biggest retail centre in the Highlands.

When commercial and wedding photographer Alison White was unable to carry out her normal work because of the coronavirus pandemic, she turned instead to photographing people close to home.

Twenty images are now being displayed in the inaugural exhibition at a new community gallery in the Eastgate Shopping Centre.

The pop-up gallery, in the mall near Next, provides locals with an opportunity to display their visual art at a prime city centre location for free.

Ms White's exhibition runs until Sunday May 30.

"I hope everyone visiting Eastgate that sees the exhibition will be able to find a memory of a positive and happy time amongst the madness of the last year or even just a moment of quiet reflection."

Taking inspiration from a similar project in Massachusetts, she organised five-minute photo sessions along the route of her daily walks often with her three-year-old daughter, Erin, in tow.

As well as boosting people's spirits, she also raised £2600 for MFR’s Cash for Kids.

Ms White said capturing real emotion was important in all aspects of her work.

She was delighted and grateful to see her pictures being exhibited and, at a time when there was talk about a return to normality, she felt it was an opportunity to revisit the lockdown and the different experiences people had.

"I hope everyone visiting Eastgate that sees the exhibition will be able to find a memory of a positive and happy time amongst the madness of the last year or even just a moment of quiet reflection," she said.

When she is not behind the camera, she can usually be found running around parks after her daughter.

"I cannot wait to show her all the lovely things the world has to offer post-covid," she said.

"I’m also really looking forward to getting back to live comedy, meals out, my singing group and a hot stone massage."

While the charity project has come to an end, she is offering location family photoshoots with 20 per cent of the fee donated to the Haven Appeal to develop a respite centre for young people with additional needs in the Highlands.

Meanwhile, the shopping centre is calling on local schools, community groups, artists, and photographers to get involved in displaying work – whether its photographs, paintings or drawings – at the new gallery.

Kirstin Gault, Eastgate’s digital and marketing executive, said: "Our new community gallery is a

fantastic way for the centre to continue to engage, inspire and connect with the local community."

Inverness College UHI will be hosting an exhibition at the gallery from July 1- 31 to showcase the work of its creative students.

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