Upright Gallery, Edinburgh: Michael Wildman – Where I Stand, Photographs of South America

Michael Wildman - Valparaiso Chile
Michael Wildman - Valparaiso Chile

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7th – 28th February

Currently showing at Edinburgh’s Upright Gallery, Michael Wildman’s current exhibition Where I Stand is a brilliantly-curated selection of digital and 35mm photographs depicting his experiences in South America – a mixture of black and white compositions, bright contrasting colours and intriguing snapshots of people’s everyday lives.

Michael’s connection to Latin America, and indeed his love for it, is evident through his works. As a street photographer, he beholds the eye-catching and the intriguing, capturing snapshots to illustrate his Latin America. Irrelevant to their subject, his images manage to evoke a sense of emotion and connection, whether it be graffiti on a wall, a pigeon taking flight or men playing pool. It is equal parts a candid insight into another culture and a view into a man’s creative vision. His attention to detail and individual view on the world offer a look-in to sights which many would dismiss. His use of shadow and colour creates photographs that are so strikingly beautiful, it’s a wonder they appear naturally in these urban environments. Whether it be the silhouette of birds on a wire or the roofline of a house matching the street below, he captures individual snapshots of serendipitous moments which can never be recreated. 

Michael’s artistic process is a simple one: he simply goes about his day and if something captures his interest, he will capture the moment. There is no staging in his work, albeit permission is sometimes asked, but the final image is a spontaneous one, giving his work a unique authenticity. Michael admits to having little interest in landscape photography, explaining that he simply couldn’t do it justice, and so he focuses on the things that interest and jump out to him. When taking photos of people, he endeavours to avoid focusing on their faces, as it can distract from the scene. 

Columbian photographs - Michael Wildman
Columbian photographs – Michael Wildman


His photographs, spread throughout the gallery space, are printed on high-quality paper, leading to a very polished finish – truly objects to be admired. Moving from upstairs to downstairs, the exhibition continues with photographs ranging from Columbia to Chile and the one shot of Edinburgh. With a moment’s contemplation, the hidden details of his images can be unearthed. If you’re interested in photography, the urban landscape or wish to see one man’s view into South America, this is well worth a visit.

3 Barclay Terrace,
Edinburgh EH10 4HP

Image: Michael Wildman – Valparaiso Chile

With thanks to Leo Sartain for this review.


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