Photographer Robert Trotter dies aged 83

Robert Trotter as Mr Murdoch STV High Road

Robert Trotter as Mr Murdoch STV High Road

We were saddened to hear of the death of the photographer Robert Trotter, who died yesterday aged 83.

Trotter (1930-2013) was an actor, director and photographer who was active in the Scottish arts scene since the 1960s. After completing National Service in the 1950s he trained as a teacher, taught English at Bellahouston Academy in Glasgow and became a Lecturer in Drama at Glasgow University in 1965. He worked continuously on stage, radio and television since the late 1960s with his work reaching a worldwide audience when he joined the cast of the long-running TV drama Take the High Road in 1982.

Sing the City Exhibition, Glasgow, 2004

New York, Glasgow: from the crowd, exhibition, Glasgow, 2004

Later in life, in the 1990s he immersed himself in street photography.  In 2001 he published Sing the City a collection of his own photography of Glasgow and New York.  Glasgow School of Art Archives and Collections holds around 300 of his photographs. This collection comprises images and text from his exhibition New York, Glasgow: from the crowd, a collection which emphasizes the similarity between city life in Glasgow and New York, which was held at Glasgow School of Art School of Design Atrium Gallery in 2004.

Our Robert Trotter collection catalogue can be viewed on the Archives Hub.


Helen Biggar: Hell Unltd screening tonight at GFT

Tonight sees the rare screening of Hell Unltd, a film by acclaimed director Norman McLaren and less well known director and fellow GSA alumnus Helen Biggar.

Kim Moore (Zoey van Goey) was commissioned to create a live score to accompany the screening

Kim Moore (Zoey van Goey) was commissioned to create a live score to accompany the screening

Glasgow School of Art graduate Helen Biggar (1909–1953) created one of the UK’s most influential anti-war films with Norman McLaren just as the Spanish Civil War began. Hell Unltd (1936) is presented for the first time with a specially commissioned live score performed by Kim Moore (Zoey van Goey) and Gareth Griffiths. Kim Moore visited the Archives and Collections Centre recently to research Helen Biggar using materials from the School’s institutional archives. She also got to see some of Biggar’s work (2 pieces (pictured below) have recently been donated to the Archives and Collections by a family member).

Fawn by Helen Biggar, c1930s

Fawn by Helen Biggar, c1930s

Maime Biggar, the artist's younger sister, c1945

Maime Biggar, the artist’s younger sister, c1945

The live performance will be preceded by a rare screening of Traces Left (1983), a documentary about the Glasgow art and political scene in the 1930s and 40s, which focuses in particular on Helen Biggar.

The event marks International Women’s Day and the contribution of women artists in Glasgow. For more information, visit the GFT event page or this really good blog.