Stocznia by Robin McAulay

Photo © Robin McAulay

The insect-like cranes of the Gdansk shipyard's work to manufacture, repair, or load the ships which have made this port city the most in important in Poland.

The Stocznia series is an abstract interpretation that depicts the industrial decline of a historic landmark that was once the apex of a country on the brink of a successful political revolution.

The Stocznia cranes are now icons that are symbolic of an industry that is slowly sinking into the past but will mark the city’s place in time.
- Robin McAulay

Photo © Robin McAulay

I was thrilled to find Robin McAulay's pictures from the shipyard of Gdansk, Poland. This series is some of the most impressive current photography that I have come across.
Classic and still modern, soft and still dynamic - a possible ride into the future.

The psychologist Lev Vygotsky says in The Psychology of Art (1925): "It is hard to imagine the role that art will play in this remolding of man. We do not know which existing but dormant forces in our organisms it will draw upon to form the new man. There is no question, however, that art will have a decisive voice in this process. Without new art there can be no new man. The possibilities of the future, for art as well as for life, are inscrutable and unpredictable. As Spinoza said, ' That of which the body is capable has not yet been determined.'

Robin's magnificent series will stay in my mind for long. It makes me happy that the author of this work is somebody I have actually met in real life too - we spent some great time in Stockholm three or probably four years ago - time passing so rapidly.

Robin continues: "The shipyard in Gdansk is fascinating to see from the outside and I used to pass it many times wishing to get in and explore it with the cameras. My girlfriend is an artist from Gdansk and through some perseverance, many phonecalls and a year later we finally were allowed in with complete freedom of the shipyard.. dream come true time. I'm going to try and get an exhibition at the workers museum in Gdansk in the future with the series."

See the series Stocznia by Robin McAulay

© Ulf Fågelhammar

Robin McAulay

Born: 1964
Lives in: Copenhagen, Denmark
Latest exhibition: Urban Space - 4th International Festival of photography - Paraty Em Foco - Paraty, Brazil - Sept 2008
Coming, planned exhibition: A few projects in the pipeline.
Inspiration (photographers): Hiroshi Sugimoto, Steven Shore, Andreas Gursky, William Eggleston, Roger Ballen, Edward Burtynsky, Cindy Sherman, Miroslav Tichý, William Klein, Jeff Wall.
Inspiration (other): Rodchenko, Wim Wenders, Quentin Tarantino, Banksy.
Film, digital or both: Film.
Quote: When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised God doesn’t work that way, so I stole one and prayed for forgiveness - Emo Philips
A favourite photograph: Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still #48, 1979

I found some photos from a walk through Stockholm that autumn with Robin (was it 2004 or 2005?).

© Ulf Fågelhammar

© Ulf Fågelhammar

© Ulf Fågelhammar


Anonymous said…
A great 'double' series...good to see Robin's images again, it's been quite awhile!

Jan Buse said…
Yes, great stuff!
br said…
it is great to see Robin's has been a long time. These images are exquisitely beautiful.
Anonymous said…
very inspiring!