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Photography exhibitions put Scottish creativity in the frame
Alan Cummings.

NEW YORK, NY.- This year’s Scotland Week, which takes place April 3-8, features two photography exhibits that highlight Scotland’s innovation and creativity in the second Year of Homecoming. The first, titled “As Others See Us,” features a series of portraits of famous Scots themed around the works of Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns. The second, entitled “Scots Jews: Identity, Belonging and the Future,” is by a documentary photographer Judah Passow, who spent the last year photographing Scotland’s Jewish Community.

“As Others See Us” debuted at Pop International Galleries Midtown, Citicorp Building in “The Atrium,” at 153 E. 53rd Street, and is on display from April 2 to 10. A project from renowned Scottish photographers Tricia Malley and Ross Gillespie collectively known as Broad Daylight, “As Others See Us” showcases 29 well known Scots and honorary Scots from around the world, including actors Alan Cumming, Peter Capaldi, Brian Cox and Ashley Jensen, who were each asked to choose their favorite poem by Burns and creatively respond to it.

One of many cultural events bringing Scottish creativity to the U.S. stage, “As Others See Us” illustrates how Burns’ literary legacy is very much appreciated around the world and his relevance today. The exhibit was previously shown extensively in Scotland including in the National Galleries, Edinburgh and on tour in Brussels and Australia.

“’As Others See Us’ is a celebration of Scottish culture,” said photographer Tricia Malley. “We wanted to illustrate the works of Burns through a creative blend of historic words and contemporary portraits. We are thrilled with the success of the exhibition so far and its reception in Scotland and around the world. We’re very excited to bring the programme to New York and be a part of the Scotland Week cultural festivities.”

“Scots Jews: Identity, Belonging and the Future” is on display at the Milton J. Weill Gallery at the 92nd Street Y at 1395 Lexington Avenue through April 27. Photographer Judah Passow traveled across Scotland to produce a portrait that captures the complexity and diversity of Jewish life at the beginning of the 21st Century. The Scottish Jewish community dates back to at least the 1700s and, for most of that time, was the largest non-Christian community in the country. The story of the Scottish Jewish community and how it maintains its traditions, while fully embracing Scottish culture is a rich story, but one that has rarely been formally presented previously. The project explores one of the contemporary Jewish community’s defining characteristics – the ability to simultaneously acknowledge its heritage, live in the creative present and build for the future. The photographs serve as a visual conversation, looking at what it is that drives and defines the community and gives meaning to Jews living in Scotland in the new Century.

Passow said that in creating this photo documentary he found a “warm, proud Jewish community that has become so tightly woven into the national fabric. I hope people looking at these photos will see what I saw — a people deeply devoted to their heritage both as Jews and Scots.”

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