British photographic history

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Close Up: Robert Blomfield

Event Details

Close Up: Robert Blomfield

Time: March 25, 2021 from 6:30pm to 7:30pm
Website or Map: http://www.streetlevelphotowo…
Event Type: online, talk
Organized By: Street Level Photoworks
Latest Activity: Mar 5, 2021

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Event Description

Close Up: Robert Blomfield
6.30pm Thursday 25th March
Livestreamed through Facebook*

For our tenth Close Up artist talk we are very pleased to be celebrating the life and legacy of photographer Robert Blomfield and coincides with the publication of Robert Blomfield: Edinburgh 1957 – 1966, published by Bluecoat Press.

We will be joined by his sons Will and Ed Blomfield, along with Robert's brother Johnny as they discuss his incredible photographic legacy and share images from his Edinburgh series, as well as further afield. As part of the event we will also be holding a special screening of An Unseen Eye (16m 14s), a short documentary film made by Stuart Edwards in 2018.

Robert Blomfield (1938 - 2020) was an avid street photographer, taking inspiration from the likes of Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Doisneau whose work challenged him to see more (and be seen less). Blomfield brilliantly and compulsively captured people and places on film. His use of the camera was unobtrusive and fly on the wall, seeking interesting or amusing scenes in a postwar world that was changing at breakneck speed.

Training as a doctor in Edinburgh in the late 1950s and early 1960s, he created a substantial archive of life in the Scottish capital – from his work in the hospital to people he observed in the street, from the building of the new Forth Road Bridge to the reshaping of the city itself as streets and housing were demolished in the name of progress. An engaging manner and healthy disrespect for authority allowed him to get close to a myriad of subjects, and the work he produced from this period forms one the highest quality archives of the era, with children playing in the streets holding a particular fascination.

In 2018 the City Art Centre, Edinburgh held a large retrospective exhibition; titled Robert Blomfield: Edinburgh Street Photography. Timed to coincide with his 80th birthday, it was the first large-scale display of his photographs.

Banner Image: Girls Playing in Tyre, Edinburgh (1966) © Robert Blomfield

*Live streams are available to viewers with or without a Facebook account. Viewers without a Facebook account can access the stream directly at

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