Visit

Stills is a centre for photography based in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town. With over 40 years of history, we’ve got a lot of experience to share. Our exhibitions, production facilities and range of creative, educational opportunities allow anyone to discover, enjoy and understand photography.



STILLS: CENTRE FOR PHOTOGRAPHY
23 Cockburn Street
Edinburgh
Scotland EH1 1BP

GALLERY
Tuesday—Saturday, 12pm—5pm

PRODUCTION FACILITIES
Tuesday, 12pm—5pm
Wednesday, 12pm—9pm
Thursday, 12pm—9pm
Friday, 12pm—5pm
Saturday, 12pm—5pm

 

Explore more and hear insights about Stills through our digital guide on Bloomberg Connects. The free arts and culture app takes you behind the scenes with exclusive audio, highlights from our archive, and more. You’ll also find must-read content to help you get the most out of Stills.

History

Stills was established in 1977. Since that time it has become a champion for the important and powerful role that the medium of photography plays in the world today. We are currently working to make our archive accessible for research, here are a few items that we’ve uncovered so far.

1976



Creative Camera was a monthly fine art and documentary photography magazine published between 1964—2001. This edition featured work from the “Recent American Still Photography” exhibition at The Fruitmarket Gallery in 1976. The exhibition was organised by the Scottish Photography Group, which went on to become Stills. Robert Adams, Lewis Baltz, Harry Callahan and Garry Winogrand were only a handful of amazing photographers included in the show.

 

1977



This exhibition book is from Angus McBean “A Darker Side of the Moon”, the first exhibition held at Stills in 1977 at our original location on the High Street. Angus McBean was a prolific theatrical photographer associated with the Surrealist movement. “The camera’s love of her face is entirely serious and magical, and the unreality of the composition – she rises like a goddess out of the earth, her perfection emphasised by classical sculptures on columns that recede over the sands towards a painted sky – is not just a joke. It is also a quasi-religious recognition that she is not, after all, like you and me but inhabits another, dreamlike world created by the adoring eyes of cinema-goers.” Jonathon Jones, The Guardian, June 2006

 

1978



In 1978, Paul Strand’s “The Hebridean Photographs” was exhibited at Stills. This body of work, created in the 1960’s, documents Hebridean life, from people, to labour, to home-life, to landscape. We have a copy of this exhibition book in Stills’ eclectic, public-access, photographic library. “It may be unusual in an exhibition […] to include a small and seemingly alien group of images. We have assumed however that Strand’s earlier work may be unfamiliar to many people and that some brief introduction may be of value. Despite the changes of style and interest apparent in Strand’s work over the years, there is also an underlying consistency, an adherence to a creed established early in his career” Richard Hough, Stills Director 1978.

 

1982



In 1982, Stills exhibited work by Man Ray, a famous Dada and surrealist artist. These objects display some behind the scenes happenings of how galleries operate; deciding where certain works are to be hung, and sending out press releases are still common practice today.

 

1987



Did you visit our Jo Spence exhibition in 2016? This flyer from our archive shows that Stills already understood the importance of Spence’s work, way back in 1987. The “Women in Photography” event organised by Stills lists Jo Spence as a speaker alongside Val Williams, Grace Robertson and Maggie Murray. Sadly Spence had to pull out due to ill health, a final draft of the flyer reveals she was replaced by Dr. Roberta McGrath, an Edinburgh based photography scholar and lecturer.

 

1988



This cassette is a recording of Paul Graham giving an artist talk in 1988 when Stills exhibited Graham’s Troubled Land series. In this recording he talks about his images and working practice as well as some practical tips and advice about making a living as a photographer.

 

1994



“A Stuggy Pren” was an exhibition in 1994 which coincided with the release of a collaborative book between photographer Katrina Lithgow and poet Ivor Cutler. Featuring fascinating portraits of Cutler, taken by Lithgow, this exhibition elaborated on the dynamic collaborative relationship between both artists.

 

Our Team

DIRECTOR
Ben Harman
ben.harman@stills.org


PROGRAMME MANAGER
Cheryl Connell
cheryl.connell@stills.org


CREATIVE LEARNING MANAGER
Claire Cochrane
claire.cochrane@stills.org


COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER
Sean Patrick Campbell
sean.campbell@stills.org


FINANCE CONTROLLER
James McKenzie
finance@stills.org


TECHNICIAN
Joseph Wilson
joseph.wilson@stills.org


VISITOR COORDINATOR
Daisy Mason
daisy.mason@stills.org


LIBRARY COORDINATOR
Connie Leroux
connie.leroux@stills.org
library@stills.org


Board Members:

Lewis Blackwell (Chairperson)
Rianna Andrews
Graham Berry
Sarah Brown
Mike Cookson
Elaine Howie
Antonia Laurence-Allen
Sham Sandhu
Antony Sojka

TECHNICAL MANAGER
Evan Thomas
evan.thomas@stills.org


RESEARCH ASSOCIATE & TUTOR
David Grinly
david.grinly@stills.org


TECHNICIAN
Zoe Hamill
zoe.hamill@stills.org


DEVELOPMENT MANAGER
Caitlin Serey
caitlin.serey@stills.org


PROJECT COORDINATOR (CREATIVE LEARNING)
Louise McLachlan
louise.mclachlan@stills.org


PRODUCTION FACILITIES ENQUIRIES
resource@stills.org


Residents

As part of the Edinburgh Park arts strategy aimed at engaging a new generation of artists in Scotland, Parabola, the owners of the 43 acres of undeveloped land to south of the existing Edinburgh Park has announced that it has appointed photographer Andy Mather to undertake a year-long photography residency inspired by Edinburgh Park.

The residency will culminate in an exhibition at Mach 1, the iconic marketing suite designed by award-winning artist David Mach. The photography residency follows the recent announcement to commission Rachel Plummer to produce a poem in celebration of Mach1.

The focus of Parabola’s creative plan for Edinburgh Park is to create partnerships with leading cultural institutions in Edinburgh and to develop opportunities for emerging artists to make new work at Edinburgh Park. The photography residency is in partnership with Stills Gallery and the poetry commission was arranged in partnership with the Scottish Poetry Library. The commissions and residencies will be managed for Parabola by curator Matthew Jarratt.

Peter Millican OBE, founder and Chairman of Parabola said:
“As part of our arts strategy, Parabola is delighted to confirm that our first residency in photography will be undertaken by Andy Mather. Andy truly understood the brief and brings depth and understanding to portraying the unique space and our ambition for Edinburgh Park to be an inspirational place in the city.”

Commenting on the decision to appoint Andy Mather, Parabola’s Arts Consultant for Edinburgh Park,  Matthew Jarratt commented:
“We are thrilled to be working with Andy Mather as part of Parabola’s arts strategy. The commitment of Parabola to work with emerging artists is being realised with the commissioning of Rachel Plummer and now the award of the residency to Andy Mather. Parabola’s commitment to the arts and creating new work is ensuring that Edinburgh Park remains an exemplar of design and artistic output.”

Andy Mather, added:
“I am keen to capture the relationship of Edinburgh Park to the city centre, to use my inquisitive nature to explore and experiment how best to document not only how Edinburgh Park will become a cultural destination and creative campus but also the logistics and mechanisms that will support the mission to redefine living and working in Edinburgh. “

Policies

As a charitable organisation Stills is committed to and conforms to various policies.

View our Environmental Policy and Action Plan

View our Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Policy and Action Plan

View our Fair Work Policy & Action Plan

View our Safeguarding Policy

Green Arts Initiative

Here at Stills we believe in our responsibility to demonstrate best practice in the environmental sustainability of all our activities. In turn, we aim to inform and influence audiences, staff, stakeholders, suppliers and partners to adopt a responsible approach toward the impact of their operations on the environment.

We are proud to be part of Creative Carbon Scotland’s Green Arts Initiative! One of many projects: In 2019 Stills library transformed into an urban green space. Members of the public were invited to learn about native wildflowers in our exhibition and participatory workshops.

Read more about The GreenRoom here.

Scotland’s Workshops

Stills is part of Scotland’s Workshops – a network of 11 visual arts production facilities all across the country. The spaces give both artists and newcomers access to an amazing array of equipment, studio spaces and unique technical expertise to create and learn about art.

Nurturing the making of art that happens right across the land, the geographic reach of the network spans 6 local authorities in Scotland, from the Central Belt to Inverness and Lybster in the North. From sculpture to printmaking, photography and glassmaking, the 11 organisations that make up Scotland’s Workshops have a huge wealth of experience built up over decades since their creation began in the 1960s.

Read more about Scotland’s Workshops here.

Job Vacancies

APPLICATIONS ARE INVITED FOR THE ROLE OF DIRECTOR

Based at: Stills: Centre for Photography, 23 Cockburn Street, Edinburgh EH1 1BP

Salary: £42,000 per annum

Permanent, full-time contract

Deadline for applications: Friday 16 August 2024 at 5pm

Purpose of the role

To further develop the work of Stills so that it meets strategic objectives agreed with the Board, and that the organisation retains and advances a high national and international reputation achieved through quality programming, excellent stakeholder relationships, optimum income generation and effective management.

The Director will be expected to work across the following areas:

Strategic Management & Leadership

  • Ensure a process of strategic planning in conjunction with the Board
  • Engage with policy in the cultural sector, in and beyond Scotland
  • Lead the definition of Stills’ operational plan and the executive delivery

Programming

  • Lead the design and delivery of a programme about photography as a creative practice. This includes exhibitions, lectures, courses, a creative school, and more.
  • Ensure artistic and financial credibility
  • Engage deeply with diverse and growing audiences

Advocacy & Marketing

  • Represent Stills to stakeholders and media; be a figurehead and spokesperson.
  • Contribute to the arts and cultural sector dialogue within and beyond Scotland.

Financial Management

  • In conjunction with the Finance Manager and Chair of Finance & Personnel Committee, inform the setting and management of Stills’ annual budget/s for approval by Stills’ Board.
  • In a challenging funding environment we expect the Director to explore, develop and implement new ways of delivering key objectives.

Income Generation

  • Lead the work to develop income generation and fundraising.
  • Forge and maintain key relationships so as to optimise income generation.

Human Resources

  • Work to advance best-practice processes and delivery.
  • Further develop a nurturing, supportive and fair work environment, meeting and advancing our overall goals. 
  • To develop and conform with environmental matters and policies and ensure policies on Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion are rigorously applied.

General Management
Work with Staff and Board as appropriate to ensure:

  • effective systems are in place to deliver the mission, aims and objectives
  • Stills complies with statutory and company obligations
  • a team approach to planning and delivery is maintained
  • a productive and appropriate working environment is maintained,
  • reports and meetings with Board, staff and stakeholder meetings are planned and delivered to schedule
  • appropriate evaluation and review processes are in place.

Person Specification
The ideal candidate(s) will likely demonstrate:

  • 5yrs+ experience in a senior role in the arts
  • knowledge of the arts sector in Scotland
  • proven ability in managing and developing staff
  • proven ability in annual planning and managing a budget
  • ability and willingness to manage change and seek innovative solutions
  • openness to working flexibly with occasional unsocial hours (weekends and evenings are sometimes required)
  • entrepreneurial flair to fundraising and income generation
  • experience in presentations and public speaking
  • familiarity with PR and marketing, their strategic development and execution

This is a full-time position, working in a hybrid flexible environment with a mixture of home working and working from our premises in Edinburgh, with a minimum of three days on site.

We are an equal opportunity employer and encourage applications from everyone and do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability or any other protected characteristics.

Stills is aware that flexible working models are crucial to accommodating disabled people in the labour market. We encourage applications from those who define themselves as disabled under the Equality Act 2010 (including deaf and neurodivergent people).

If you require any adjustments during the recruitment process, such as alternative application formats or receiving interview questions in advance, please get in touch with Cheryl Connell at cheryl.connell@stills.org

Applications
To apply for the role of Director, please send a CV and a supporting statement (no more than 500 words) to Cheryl Connell at: recruitment@stills.org

Please also use this email if you would like to ask any specific questions about the role. 

Applications deadline: Friday 16 August 2024 at 5pm



STILLS SEEKS NEW BOARD MEMBERS

Application deadline: Friday 12 July 2024, 5pm

Stills is a centre for photography with a long history of supporting the advancement, practice, enjoyment, exploration and understanding of photography. We deliver an annual programme of exhibitions and events; the Stills School education programme; and access to top of the range photographic production facilities and courses. In order to maintain the broad range of experience and knowledge on our Board, we are currently looking for new Board members.

Previous experience of being on a Board is not necessary and we welcome interest from people of all ages, levels of experience and from diverse backgrounds. We welcome applications from those under-represented in the creative industries. Our priority is to develop our Board to better reflect the diversity of our audiences and the variety of perspectives that society has to offer.

Particular areas of knowledge we are hoping to cover include:

  • Visual Art (especially Photography)
  • Law
  • Finance
  • Property
  • Marketing & Communications
  • General Management

As a member of the Stills Board of Directors, you will play an exciting role in the governance of one of Scotland’s key visual arts organisations. We are a registered charity and have been part of Creative Scotland’s Regular Funding portfolio since 2018.

Our Board members give up their time voluntarily. As a minimum commitment, we expect attendance at 4 Board meetings per year (either in-person or via Zoom) as well as an annual strategy day with the operational team (usually held in September). Board tenure is typically a 4-year term with the option of a 2-year extension. This opportunity is open to local, national and international applicants that can meet this minimum level of commitment.

Stills will provide:

  • A Board member induction and introduction to Stills’ premises and the staff team.
  • Flexible meeting times and the option to attend meetings in person or online via Zoom/video conferencing software.
  • Reimbursement of reasonable travel expenses to and from meetings.
  • Complimentary access to Stills courses and production facilities.
  • A rewarding experience of being involved in the strategy and ongoing development of one of Scotland’s key visual arts venues.

To apply please send a CV and covering letter expressing your interest in this Board position to: Cheryl Connell: cheryl.connell@stills.org

The closing date for applications is: Friday 12 July 2024, 5pm

If you would prefer to submit an application in another format or for any questions about this role, please contact Cheryl Connell, as above.