Exhibition to showcase connection between Russian and Scottish Gingers

The "Gingers" series by Kieran Dodds will go on show in Inverness this week. PIC: Contributed.
The "Gingers" series by Kieran Dodds will go on show in Inverness this week. PIC: Contributed.
0
Have your say

Redheads have come into focus at a new international photography festival which opens in the Highlands this month.

Kieran Dodds will show his “Gingers” series, which features portraits of everyday redheads from Russia and Scotland, at the Flow Photofest festival this month.

Detail of image of Kirsty Alcorn, Balloch, Scotland. PIC: Kieran Dodds.

Detail of image of Kirsty Alcorn, Balloch, Scotland. PIC: Kieran Dodds.

The photographer, now based in Edinburgh, said: “A lot of my clients are from overseas as they think we’re all white skinned and ginger. I wanted to use that cliche and show there is diversity in it.”

READ MORE: The eerie photographs of the abandoned of Stroma

Dodds found that, along with Scotland, Russia was another big redhead “hotspot” with a concentration of those with ginger hair living in the Upper Volga area.

After discovering one of the main cities was called Perm and that it sat roughly on the same line of latitude of Inverness, Dodds set to work.

Anna Vechtomina, 35, Perm, Russia. PIC: Kieran Dodds.

Anna Vechtomina, 35, Perm, Russia. PIC: Kieran Dodds.

READ MORE: Fascinating photographic archive of 1920s Leith is found

The photographer added: “Perm is about the size of Glasgow - it is the biggest place you have never heard of. I thought it would be nice to connect Scotland and the west with Russia using red hair. At a time when Russia is still seen by many as the enemy, I wanted to show a commonality between us.”

Dodds, who also has red hair, used a fixer to gather together redheads in Perm with other groups congregating in Dundee and Inverness.

He added: “We do tend to think of Russia as one group of people but that is pretty ridiculous when you look at the genetic flow of the place. One of the women I photographed was born in Russia and her parents were from Europe and China.

Caitlin & Abigail Young, Dundee, Scotland. PIC: Kieran Dodds.

Caitlin & Abigail Young, Dundee, Scotland. PIC: Kieran Dodds.

“My time there really challenged me to see Russia in a different way.”

Dodds said the experience of having red hair was much the same in Scotland as in Russia.

He said: “Some of those I photographed thought that red hair was beautiful although the kids at school weren’t that keen.

“As people got older, they tended to love their hair more especially when they started to lose it, whether that be the colour or the hair itself.”

Max Shetenicok, Perm, Russia. PIC: Kieran Dodds.

Max Shetenicok, Perm, Russia. PIC: Kieran Dodds.

Dodds, 36, also found many similarities in the facial features of those photographed in Scotland and Russia.

Incredibly, the mother of two girls he photographed in Scotland came from Perm.

The mother of a young boy photographed in Inverness came from Eastern Europe and his father from the Middle East, Dodds added.

“The main thing I learned was to not assume that people were static. There was a great diversity in the people I photographed.”

The “Gingers” series will be on show at Inverness Museum and Art Gallery from September 8.

The Flow festival will feature work from photographers from Scotland, Norway, Finland, Iceland and beyond.

Roy Brian, Inverness, Scotland. PIC: Kieran Dodds.

Roy Brian, Inverness, Scotland. PIC: Kieran Dodds.

Work will be shown at nine venues across the North.

For more information, visit www.flowphotofest.co.uk