15 of May 2021: Glasgow Rangers fans celebrating 55th league title, first after 10 years in George Square in Glasgow.
In my work, portraits of people occupy an important place from a long time. Recently, I have changed my idea to create them. I’m not only interested in the subject of photographing itself, but the mere interaction with – me and a subject. I’m using a 17mm lens, in photography we call it an ultra-wide angle lens. Which means I need to be approx 1 meter (or a few feets) from my research subjects to create a portrait. Such a philosophy gives me the opportunity to deeply participate in the process of their creation. Then the topic isn’t important so much even, the emotions and relation between me and people are important. Here the creative process takes place, It’s a kind of researching of myself and others. I’m the kind of agent that enters the environment, I stay naturally part of it and its reflection and my creative traces are the photos taken. Then I learn a lot about myself, overcome my weaknesses, develop and tame my fear. I cross the next frontier of my creative development.
This time I took on the topic of football fans in Scotland, exactly Glasgow Rangers. Although football has long ceased to interest me. This isn’t the first time that I have had the opportunity to join the community of fans. For example, It was the case in Toruń with the fans of Elana Toruń and speedway club Apator Toruń. The first time that I tried to make portraits of a fan was 2 mouth ago. Unfortunately, then I was considered a journalist (they hate them very much), and I was very quickly thrown out, drenched in beer and battered. It wasn’t pleasant. And I’m really surprised that I decided to risked it a second time.
This time it was supposed to be an official celebration of their first title in 10 years (the Scottish football league title), historical and according to their, epic one. I took a risk. I guess I had changed my approach, I don’t know exactly how. But I was more confident and just myself. I was carried away by my passion for photos. And the fans of Rangers Glasgow probably sensed it. At the beginning, of course, they accosted me and asked who I am. Over 50 people accosted me, wanting to throw me out of the crowd. However, thanks to the fact that they got to know me after the photos taken previously on my website and the fact that I have a page name written on my messenger bag. They quickly realized that I am only an artist. Yes, being an artist in a fan environment completely changes the shape of things. Suddenly it wasn’t me asking for a portrait, suddenly everyone started asking me. They accepted me. It was crucial, and I thank you very much for that, Rangers fans. I hope you won’t kill me for these photos now, and I hope, so my work will become important to you as well. After all, I don’t approve of the rubbish left after your celebration. But thank you for your acceptance and that I have been able to learn a lot.
What is significant, journalists stood far in the windows with 200mm lenses, keeping away from fans. And I acted at the heart of their dream historic celebration. This is a reward for being independent, that I’m part of what I create. I risked my health, got hit by a firecracker, close to my eyes. It was hurt, the trail was left on my face for a few days. I don’t cry, I took that into account.
Thanks to this, we were able to create something historic together. Thank you. Enjoy.