Published: October 12, 2019
A CARLOPS writer and a Peebles photographer have teamed up to pay tribute to the capital.
Award-winning photographer Allan Wright has turned his focus on Edinburgh for his 18th book.
And to help illuminate the historical city's remarkable story is poet and author Gerda Stevenson.
Edinburgh, which is launched this week, has already been described as 'a stunning tribute to that magnificent old hypocrite, the city of Edinburgh' by broadcaster Richard Holloway.
The former Bishop of Edinburgh continued: "The combination of Allan Wright’s gorgeous photography and Gerda Stevenson’s introduction and searing poetry hints that the time may be near when Scotland’s capital of easy virtue will become an honest and independent woman again.”
Edinburgh has for centuries been known as one of Europe's great cities.
In Allan and Gerda's new book, which features 87 photographs and 22 poems, they present the capital in all of her guises - ancient and modern, local and international, privileged and disenfranchised, dazzlingly glamorous and down-at-heel.
The compelling publication will resonate with residents from all over the city as well as with the millions of visitors who throng the streets, cafes and bars every year.
Edinburgh tells a powerful story with breadth, depth, wit and humour, and with a surprisingly light touch.
Broadcaster Lesley Riddoch said: "This is not the tourist’s view nor an uncritical, gushing tribute. Perceptive, spirited and loving."
Photographer Allan, who has been publishing his work since the 1980s, spent decades in locations such as Vietnam, Morocco, Libya and Australia to produce unforgettable images.
Since returning home earlier this year he has released photographic titles, Vintage Tractors and Scotland's Islands, before putting the final shots together for Edinburgh.
Allan admits that Gerda's involvement has taken the publication to a new level. He said: "My initial concept was to produce a comparatively modest format, aimed at the photographically conscious visitor.
"By good fortune however, in engaging with Gerda as co-author, the scope and spirit of the work has been widened and deepened.
"The poems featured in this book have interacted with my images penetrating the veneer that can often dominate the city.
"All those prestigious castings and fine masonry may, collectively, have created one of Europe’s most beautiful cities, but there were struggles in its making, and so often a human price was paid.
"I hope, therefore, it proves thought provoking at the very least.”
Gerda, who is an award-winning actor, songwriter and director as well as a writer, added: "This has been a fascinating and welcome collaboration – an opportunity to reacquaint myself with my beloved home city, and its many contradictions.
"I’ve relished both the process of responding to Allan’s vibrant images, and the way in which the project unexpectedly developed: finding myself writing additional poems about aspects of the city which Allan then went out to photograph.
"The journey towards finding a visual and poetic narrative became a dynamic creative exchange, involving vigorous debate.”
Edinburgh by Allan Wright and Gerda Stevenson is officially launched on Monday at The Edinburgh Bookshop in Bruntsfield Place.
Edinburgh: Pub: 14 Oct’ 19 - ISBN 978 - 1 - 905683 - 92 -5
By Allan Wright and Gerda Stevenson
Publisher: Allan Wright Photographic / Lomond Books Ltd.
In all major bookshops
Buy online: www.scottishbookstore.com www.amazon.com www.allanwrightphoto.com
Book Launch - 6.30pm - Mon 14 Oct - The Edinburgh Bookshop, 219 Bruntsfield Pl, Edinburgh EH10 4DH source