Margaret Mitchell is a Scottish documentary and portrait photographer. Projects range from exploring communities and children’s worlds through to long-term documentation projects on environment, opportunity and social inequality. The inner and lived worlds of others are central to her photography which explores the intricacies and complexities of people’s lives.
Awards include within the Sony World Photography Award, The Royal Photographic Society’s IPE160 and LensCulture Portraits Award. Her work has been exhibited widely including at Somerset House, FORMAT International Photography Festival and Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Work is held in the collection at the National Galleries of Scotland.
About ‘Family (1994)’:
In 1994 my late sister Andrea and her three children, Steven, Kellie and Chick were navigating their lives in difficult emotional and socio-economic circumstances in Stirling, Scotland. They lived in an area that was consistently placed in the top 5% in government statistics on deprivation across factors including health, employment, income, education and housing. The project’s background was firmly rooted in the stigmatization of certain strands of society, people like Andrea as a lone parent and her children, judged because of their family situation and where they lived.
The children’s mutual dependence grew out of their experiences with one another in the home and ‘Family’ allows us a small insight into their childhood world, at that moment in time and in those particular life circumstances.
Steven, Kellie and Chick’s lives revolved around their interactions with one another with their mother existing as a background figure to their daily stories. Their home life dynamic could only hint at the multiple influences that were slowly seeping into the children’s idea of self, contributing and shaping who they were to become.
An updating series In This Place (2016-17) revisits the lives of the three children as they move into adulthood, now with their own families. Asking questions about the choices we have in life and if they are ultimately predetermined by upbringing, locality and socio-economic position.