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Thursday, March 23, 2023

New Exhibition at Eastgate Centre Captures Lockdown Experiences in The Highlands

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Eastgate is calling local schools, community groups, artists, and photographers to get involved with the Centre’s newly installed pop-up community Gallery.

Whether it is photographs, paintings or drawings, the gallery provides locals with an opportunity to exhibit their visual art at a prime City Centre location for free!

Eastgate Shopping Centre is delighted to announce that the first exhibition, which is being hosted by Alison White Photography, can be found in the mall adjacent to Next.

Focusing on the #FrontStepsProject, Alison’s photographs were taken during the first COVID-19 Lockdown.

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.

“We’re launching the Community Gallery with twenty photographs taken by Alison White Photography for the #FrontStepsProject.

“By pulling these photos and accompanying captions together for the exhibition, it has created a powerful snippet of human experience during the pandemic.”

Alison White is a commercial and wedding photographer living and working in the Highlands of Scotland, who loves to meet new people and make them laugh whilst taking their photographs – “capturing real emotion” is important in all aspects of her work.

When Alison is not behind the camera, she can usually be found running around parks after her 3-year-old daughter – “I cannot wait to show her all the lovely things the world has to offer post-covid.”

She added, “I’m also REALLY looking forward to getting back to live comedy, meals out, my singing group and a hot stone massage.”

Alison started the #FrontStepsProject Inverness after seeing the original project in Needham, Massachusetts which brought the community together.

Taking photos of families on their doorsteps during the lockdown was something small that Alison could do to help boost spirits during a very strange and unsettling time, whilst also raising much-needed funds for MFR Cash for Kids.

Over £2,600 was raised which has already been put to fantastic use throughout the Highlands.

Alison said:

“I organised the 5-minute photo sessions along the route of my daily walks, often with my little girl in tow, and they gave me a purpose when normal photography work was impossible.

“Those who took part donated what they could afford rather than a set amount, and an image and quote from each household were posted on my Facebook page.”

She added, “Everyone had their own worries about the pandemic, but I think being connected to this network really helped people feel less isolated… and I know the smiling faces and stories cheered up lots of other folk across Inverness in the process!”

Whilst the charity project has now come to an end, Alison is able to offer location family photoshoots.

All complying with social distancing guidelines, 20% of the fee for these sessions will be donated to The Haven Project to raise money for a respite centre for those with additional needs in the Highlands.

Alison added:

“I’m delighted and grateful to see these pictures going up and, at a time when we are all starting to talk about a return to normality, I feel it’s a great opportunity to revisit the lockdown and the different experiences people had.

“I hope everyone visiting the 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.

“I will certainly always carry with me the sense of the vibrant and diverse community I met during the Front Steps Project – as well as the laughter and stories we shared along the way! “

Customers visiting Eastgate Shopping Centre will be able to view the #FrontStepsProject exhibition until Sunday 30th May.

Kirstin Gault, said:

“The health and safety of our customers and employees continues to be our number one priority, so we would like to remind everyone that we have several measures in place (including the Eastgate Roadway System and an enhanced cleaning regime) to keep them safe during a visit to the Centre.

“When visiting the Community Gallery, customers should adhere to social distancing.”

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