about issue #1
Originally planned as a joint venture with Beanscene, The Grind quickly went its own way and became an entity unto itself after disagreements about content and censorship.
The inaugural edition of The Grind was born of many evenings of tense discussion, red wine, and InDesign mishaps, in-between 50-hour working weeks and the multiple jobs of the team.
The laptop it was created on was half covered in spray paint (after an accident in an artist's workshop) and the 'delete' key was conspicuous by its absence. It processed as slowly as ball-bearings falling through treacle and was frequently outpaced by continental drift.
Amidst the technological and logistical hurdles we managed to create a journal that we were truly proud of, and one that we felt did justice to our contributors. That always has been, and will continue to be, our primary function; to do people the justice they deserve.
My work is guided by my intrigue in memory, in particular, realities created by memory. I see my work as documents of memory, dreams or nostalgia, but without necessarily documenting a past, time or place. I am not so much concerned with the subject photographed or a specific technical approach, rather a reflective memory or thought. My work is a casual and unprepared experience, photographed freely without a right or wrong, you could say, mirroring the popular culture of people documenting and sharing their own daily lives without concern. “Photo Is Memory” represents the ideas of, and is set in, a world where reality is based upon perception and shaped by desire. It is a fragmented glimpse into the endless realities and possibilities which coexist.
I use traditional photographic materials as well as found imagery/objects, text and video to explore both personal memory and social history. My main areas of interest deal directly with ideas of history and heritage and photography is the best possible means for me to address these concerns, crucially answering what it means to be ‘from Lanarkshire’. By working within the landscape, both physically and conceptually, and by working with others and through rigorous research I am slowly beginning to answer these questions. ’Hattonrigg Pit Disaster 1910’ is a small body of work that acts as a response to a local newspaper article I found written at the time of a mining accident in which eight men lost their lives. The series of photographs and objects; made over a century after the event, acts both as a memorial to this forgotten event and my own attempt at recording and understanding the history of the place I call home.
BRYAN M FERGUSON
I’m a Filmmaker/Photographer from Glasgow, Scotland. I took up photography 5 or 6 years ago as a way to vent my creative frustrations when film projects would fray, but soon after I really began to adore the medium as I was able to focus intently on a single frame. The challenge to provoke thought without the luxury of having 24 images per second was one I relished. That said, my heart will always lie with cinema. Creating interesting visuals is my greatest passion and one I have had from a very young age. I’m not sure how I’d describe my work, it’s difficult for me to look at my work objectively. I find it uncomfortable to really talk about it in such a way. I find my films often focus on psychological disarray or the abstruse side of sexual perversion and I believe aspects of this seeps into my photography and it can at times be quite dark but in a more implicit way. The vast majority of my images have quite a cinematic feel. Another thing that’s consistent is my use of light, shadows and colour. I’ve always found it interesting to create a visual cast in shadows but to have colour bleed into the image or to have a bright and colourful image with an offbeat focal point with something foreboding under the skin of the photographs. www.bryanmferguson.com
I wrote nineteen of these Ghost Stories throughout September and October after reading a lot of what I’d call ‘obvious memoir presented as fiction’ which really turned me off personally in that the writers were always so obviously present in the story as opposed to the more creative memoir style of Joan Didion or the variety of lies and half truths told by Sergei Dovlatov. I don’t know if I was unconsciously picking up on the idea of ghost stories because of the run up to Halloween but after I wrote the first couple I was cheered by the realisation that ghost stories are still a pretty strict indicator that we’ve got some straight up fiction on our hands (or madness which is basically interpreted as fiction by others in a story)
I also figured that the scary thing about ghosts as a trope is not that they’re supernatural phenomenon. Regardless of what Shaggy and Scooby would have us believe, the basic appearance of a ghost is not scary in itself. The real scary thing is that they’re a present and often grotesque manifestation of traumatic memories that are metaphorically haunting a person and that’s something you have to either carry with you in spite of the burden and learn to live with.
These short fictions are my first forays into published writing. I mostly write short and flash fiction, but at the moment I’m also working on my first full-length play. In everything I write I want to show the eccentric in the familiar; create vivid, relatable characters and imagine worlds that skew and distort our own. I’m a big fan of hope. And also coffee.
These two pieces are part of a bigger series I call ‘Randomised’. I created them by using a random word generator to find three totally unrelated words, then gave myself an hour to write a piece of short fiction based on those words. The idea was to force me to explore new themes, voices, characters and situations.
I am an Edinburgh based writer currently working on material for a poetry pamphlet. My work has appeared online in Featherlit,Metazen and Ink, Sweat and Tears. In print I have had poems in Octavius 2, Valve Journal III and Dactyl. In November 2012 I won the poetry category of the Glasgow Women’s Library Moving Stories competition. My reading of my winning poem ‘Wed’ was featured on BBC Radio Scotland’s Book Café.
My name is Jamie McFarlane, I’m a 25 year old barista moonlighting as a photographer. I’ve been taking photos since my other half bought me my first camera in 2007 and sparked an unknown interest in capturing life. I live in Perth at the moment but next year will be moving to Seattle where I’m hoping to take photography full time.
The three pieces were inspired by a desire to return to the Gaelic songs of my youth in order to introduce them to my own children.
In doing so I discovered that my Gaelic is now so poor, through lack of use, that I was turning to the English translations of the lyrics to refresh my memory on the true meaning of the songs. This led me to consider the implications of trying to understand and grasp a culture fully through translation. Was it possible to retain enough of the original character if the piece was re-envisioned from an English speaking perspective? A Blessing for the Bard and A Waulking Lullaby are written as if direct translations with associated awkwardness retained in the language. I see Mull was intended to read more like a 1960s attempt to translate lyrics with the intention the song could then be comfortably sung in English, essentially an Anglicization aimed at popular culture.
The poems or ‘re-envisioned lyrics’ are based on my memories of when I first heard or learned the songs and my feelings on hearing them again as an adult. The content draws inspiration from imagery contained in traditional songs. A Blessing for the Bard draws from Ailein Duinnand the traditional Celtic Blessing. I see Mull draws inspiration and rhythm from Chi mi Muile and can be read (sung?!) to the melody of Chi mi Muile.
The sentimental style of this poem echoes the ‘tartanness’ of the White HeHHeather Club and some elements of the 1960s folk scene. A Waulking Lullaby combines imagery from the waulking song ’S muladach mi o chionn seachdain with sentiment linked to Bà, Bà, Mo Leanabh Beag, rhythm is based on the melody Fear a Bhata.
I hope these pieces capture something of the beauty and ‘otherness’ of traditional Gaelic lyrics. Personally they represent my concern that without an understanding of the language I lose the ability to connect directly with a major part of my own country’s voice and that as a parent if I don’t encourage my children to learn the language they may never experience the depth of imagery and content contained therein.
I like to bring to the forefront that which exists in the shadows: focusing on the forgotten or ignored details that surround us in all aspects of our lives. Having experimented with different methodologies and media my work manifests itself in a variety of finished styles, however, there is always an underlying eerie, hollowness present throughout. I achieve this by photographing emptiness and absence – by focusing on an overwhelming feeling, instead of the object. This often generates an unsettling and haunting aura within, and around, my work.
Tracey S. Rosenberg is the recipient of a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award, and her debut poetry pamphlet, Lipstick is Always a Plus, was published by Stewed Rhubarb Press in 2012. Other manuscripts have been longlisted for the Cinnamon Press Poetry Collection Award and the Mary Ballard Poetry Chapbook Prize. Her historical novel The Girl in the Bunker (Cargo Publishing, 2011) was selected for Scotland on Sunday’s Books of the Year. She’s a committee member of Edinburgh-based spoken word collective Inky Fingers, for which she’s currently organising a Dead Poets Slam for Book Week Scotland, and Bookstalls Manager for the StAnza Poetry Festival.
Stephen Watt's debut collection of poetry 'Spit' was released in March 2012 following his victory at the Poetry Rivals Slam in Peterborough year previous. Since then, Stephen has successfully won the Hughie Healy Memorial Trophy, the Federation of Writers (Scotland) Vernal Equinox competition, and performed at venues and festivals across the country. His punk poem ‘Retaliate’ is due to appear shortly on a record celebrating the anniversary of the Sex Pistols “Never Mind The B*llocks” album. His Facebook page for Spit can be found at https://www.facebook.com/StephenWattSpit”.