2 Nov 2013

For the past two years I have neglected my blog. I'm returning, but meanwhile, take a moment to see my webstite or follow me on twitter or facebook.

10 Apr 2011

Sidewalk Seduction

Marcus makes his mark on an abandoned mattress.

7 Apr 2011


In the USA the term 'disabled' is considered demeaning.

17 Mar 2011

Ballet- The Most Incredible Thing

Javier De Frutos

Javier called me, had I heard of Hans Christian Anderson’s ‘The Most Incredible Thing’? Incredibly, I hadn’t - a quick Google and, incredibly I had! Javier had been commissioned by Sadler's Wells to create the choreography for a new ballet with original music scored by the Pet Shop Boys and would I come up with an image to front it?
 Anderson’s obsession with cutting shapes out of paper was my starting point. Look away now if you don’t want to know the ending; a clock turns out to be the ‘Thing’. My idea was straight forward; replace the hands of a clock with a cut out of the principal dancer. Javier had one request- it should have the feel of a Constructivist poster. 
 The idea is often the easy part, the trick is to turn concept into surreality. 3D software was the only tool in the box to do the job. My 3D skills were rusty and in need of some serious polishing. I based the structure of the clock loosely on the workings of a19th Century lighthouse time piece. Clemmie Sveaas, performing the role of the Princess, would be the hands.
  In a tight rehearsal room at Sadlers, Clemmie contorted her body into every shape I threw at her.

Clemmie Sveaas
Working with Clemmie is always creatively rewarding. There’s no pretense, no tantrums or tiaras, even though she is the Princess- just  passion and talent.

 Katrina Lindsay

The incredible costumes were provided by Katrina Lindsay who’s considerable talent is equaled only by the accolades stuffed into her trophy cabinet.

 Poster image

Press/ programme image

So much is resting on Javier’s shoulders. The hype and the pressure is on - incredible things are expected. Javier is not an extension of the pop duo or the third member- he’s a one off. 

 Article on Javier in the Royal Academy of Dance’s publication 'Dance Gazette' featuring images by yours - truly.

The Independent
The Times

Final poster
The Guardian Guide

Sadler's Wells site

The Pet Shop Boys site

12 Mar 2011

Therapeutic touch

Prof. Dr.Phil. Ruth Hampe

Laura Heraty and Claudine Albert, regional coordinators of The British Association of Art Therapists, invited me to 'touch' those present at a lecture given by eminent art therapist Prof. Dr.Phil. Ruth Hampe from the Catholic University, Freiburg. Twenty five art therapists participated in the experiment and the results make for interesting reading. Here is a selection, view the rest at www.gavinevans.com

Laura Heraty

Isabella Halm

Yvonne Austen

Georgina Ruth

Paul Flemming

Francis Mezzetti

Claudine Albert

Dr.Margaret Hills De Zarate

Andrea Spink

4 Mar 2011

Count Me In...

Gary McNair
Gary (McNair) was locked in a blackened cell - a creative flotation tank where his maverick ideas percolated. So far he’d come up with a title ‘Count Me In’. The thread started with the conundrum- we vote in a system we didn’t vote for. What came after that was anyone’s guess. I admire the 26 year old’s hutzpa - he goes out on a limb.
A fortnight later and he was performing ‘Count Me In’ at the Traverse Theatre. Gary compelled a captivated audience to react and interact. The play was high octane and provocative. His uniquely humourous and succinct approach beautifully illustrated the inequities and absurdities of the voting system. Gary ran into the audience, thrust his microphone to the mouths of unsuspecting victims and got them to read from a cue card. The guy sat next to me got one- I was safe. 20 seconds later and Gary returned to me, giving me what felt like a 4 line soliloquy to read- with instructions! The audience picked up on this anomaly- bastardo!

  Later, in the Traverse bar, Gary confessed that he saw me and thought “there’s Gavin”. His natural reflex was to thrust the card into my hand. Gary is a talented director, playwright and explosive actor- the consummate theatremaker. Just one bit of advice for those of a shy or nervous disposition- stay clear of his line of sight.

20 Feb 2011

Fashionably Late

  In 1998 I was commissioned to photograph a group of upcoming British designers. I was assigned a stylist for the job by the name of Isabella Blow. The plumage jetting from her head suggested she was an endangered species with a flair for the extraordinary. We instantly warmed to one another, we made each other giggle. I hadn’t a clue who this creature was, Issy was a legend in the world of fashion - a place foreign to me. I was a neutral, I knew no one from her circles so she felt able to confess and confide in me. We’d meet in low-lit cafes off Piccadilly and she’d tell me of the snubbing she received from the photographers, models and designers she selflessly promoted and mentored. She once called me excitedly to say she’d named me in an an interview as the photographer to watch out for- typical Issy.
 Issy suffered from depression and the treatment she received from her contemporaries and muses compounded the misery. Our clandestine confessionals lasted until I left London for Scotland. I was shocked, but not surprised, to hear in 2007 that she had taken her own life. The method she chose to end it was tragic - weed-killer. Exiting her poisonous world in such a dramatic manner seems prophetic in retrospect.
 Four years after her death and the carrion are descending. Publications, documentaries and a film of her life are appearing from the coffin's woodwork. Photographers and designers who took advantage of her unrequited generosity are now reaping the post mortem benefits of her influence. 

Isabella was like the feathers in her hats- fragile and exotic. The latter-day obitchuaries will, I'm sure, tell their own tales.

9 Feb 2011

Smile for the Camera

Q: When is a smile not a smile?

Photograph©Gavin Evans
 There is one thing that would significantly improve the quality of Barrie’s life. Every time he looks in the mirror he is reminded of the moment his world was condemned to scrutiny. His perma-grin was the result of a random attack and society won't let him forget. At that moment his anonymity was annulled and he became guilty of crimes he never committed. Disfigurement at the hands of a stranger has scarred him inside and out. Whether the attack is random or gang related, the scarred are scarred. All bearers of Glasgow Smiles are victims- society is the victim too. Barrie wishes his scar could be removed to erase the psychological pain and stigma. 
 The ‘Glasgow Smile’ is the slashing from mouth to ear resulting in a crescent shaped scar. It’s a cultural thing, unique to Glasgow, you can’t help noticing them- they’re everywhere. In a world obsessed with cosmetic and aesthetic perfection this act of deliberate disfigurement and defilement flies in the face of cultural norms. The prevalence and persistence of this ‘culture’ perpetuates a state of underlying fear- reinforcing the hard-man stereotype. The consequences for the victim are; imposed vilification and demonisation resulting in simultaneous social imprisonment and exile. The ‘Glasgow Smile’ is synonymous with gang culture but is also an act randomly inflicted on innocent bystanders- like Barrie. This practice has existed for at least 60 years and is sustained by the turning of the cheek.

Dr.Christine Goodall
In an attempt to comprehend why this cultural anomaly persists I arranged to meet Dr.Christine Goodall- consultant oral surgeon and founder of Glasgow based charity Medics Against Violence. Christine is at the sharp end of this practice as she treats victims of knife crime from as young as 13 years old. She candidly tells me that these explosive attacks are expressions of the emotionally inarticulate Glaswegian man. Unsurprisingly alcohol is one factor that often facilitates these outbursts. The ‘Glasgow Effect’ coupled with psychological morbidity is a powerful contributing force- difficult to define yet impossible to deny.
  Dr.Goodall introduced me to a member of Strathclyde’s Violence Reduction Unit who assures me that I can be introduced to many victims and perpetrators if I want to turn this line of inquiry into a photographic project. With Medics Against Violence’s support I am seriously considering exposing this cultural malaise- if I can make a positive contribution to their goals.

A: When it’s a Glasgow Smile.

In Vein

Opposite Arteries is a gallery in a different vein- a shooting gallery hidden from view by hoardings. On a disused plot on Glesga's Bath Street oblivious pedestrians pass within a stone's throw of oblivion.

The place is awash with needles, sterile spoons and pipes. Faeces and tampons litter the ground- with anthrax thrown into the heroin mix, shooting-up these days is riskier than gambling Russian Roulette with five loaded chambers.
 Bath Street is no backwater, it's smack in the city centre.

Even the walls of the Institute of Virology appear contaminated.

2 Feb 2011

Girl X

There's a new round of upcoming productions at the National Theatre of Scotland. Today I'm sniffing around the Glue Factory where the cast and crew of Girl X are assembled. Director Pol Heyvaert is putting 12 members of the Citizens Theatre's choir, gently but assuredly through their paces. The choir are getting to grips with the daunting task of synchronous speaking- speaking as one and memorising 43 pages of script. The play, concept of lead actor and disabled rights activist Robert Softley, is based on the controversial issues surrounding the 'treatment' of Ashley X. Although this play is certain to challenge the audience it is in no way didactic
 The show is premiering at the Traverse Theatre on the 4th March and runs 'till the 13th March.

Pol Heyvaert

Robert Softley

It was a battle to get home; through gale force winds, past dead dumpsters and umbrella mortuaries.

27 Jan 2011


William, The Maxwells front man.

William was mid band-practice at the Maxwell-Collins household. He broke the flow to welcome me and announce that in a fortnight he'd be supporting his father at the Shepherds Bush Empire. His band, The Maxwells (named in honour of his mother's side of the family), will be performing their first gig in front of a crowd of over 1000 but he ain't fazed.


It has been a long while since I've felt the warmth of this fiercely matriarchal household. The volume still reaches fever pitch and there's no room for the sentimental or superficial. Under Grace's stewardship the Maxwell-Collins juggernaut careers ever onward and upward with more laughter and less falling. If ever there was a motivation guru in the making then Grace is it.


Edwyn had been busy producing bands in his studio and working on his upcoming exhibition 'Nature Punk' showing at the Idea Generation Gallery. It's great to see Ed being creative on all fronts, giving as good as he gets and receiving the critical praise deserves.

This intimate image is one of triumph over adversity. Being with Grace and Edwyn puts things into perspective- money isn't the be all.

20 Jan 2011

Make Believe

The Office, Gordon Lane, Glesga

“I’ll have tae call you back, the police wanna word.”
It was a beautiful evening in July but on the west coast conditions were taking a turn for the worse. Barrie was being interrogated in The Office (Gordon Lane) by the boys in blue.

 An hour later he called me back. “You’ll never faaken believed it...” Curiously, every time he says "you’ll never believe it," I almost always do.
 Barrie had responded to cries for help coming from the lane. His fellow drinking compatriot Scott was being attacked by Cyclops, a monocular blade wielding thug. Cyclops threw away the knife at the sight of an oncoming Barrie before making good his escape past two bicycle mounted police responding to the incident.
 The police arrived on the scene to find Scott berating Barrie. Barrie thought the knife had landed on an air-conditioning unit so they made a spectacularly failed attempt to find the evidence. Scott couldn’t lift Barrie- he was recovering from a recent groin operation. The two inebriates were unable to stand tall, let alone scale the dizzying height of the unit- almost 4 metres from the ground. The police charged Barrie with lifting a pole off the air-con unit with the intention of using it as a weapon.
 Barrie was furious “Pole? Wha’ pole? There was nae pole.” In the eyes of the police Barrie was better off the streets and out of sight.

Glasgow Sheriff Court
 August 2010. Glasgow Sheriff Court. At the first trial the evidence, the pole, could not be found. Nevertheless, the judge postponed the trial and served Barrie with a curfew order- off the streets by 7pm. This only served to prevent him from evening visits with his two daughters who were suffering from meningitis.

Toilets at the court- the blue lighting prevents addicts finding a vein
 October 2010. Court Room 16. The second hearing was delayed- as usual. At one o’clock the court went into recess for lunch and Barrie’s lawyer suggested that I wrote a letter of commendation in case he was found guilty. I left Barrie and Scott to their liquid lunch and headed to a nearby cafe. When I returned Barrie was alone. He looked up at me and groaned “You’ll never faaken believe it...”
 The dynamic duo were life-saving while I was busy composing. A widower floated by them, face down, as they were taking refreshments by the banks of the Clyde. Without hesitation Scott dived into the black waters and retrieved the wouldbe suicide victim. The prosecuting witnesses (the police) were watching on as the event unfolded and escorted Scott to the hospital to have him checked out for hypothermia. Back in court Barrie’s lawyer confessed that this was a first in all his years of practice at the bar. The judge had to agree and the trial was adjourned- again.

November 2010. The morning of the big day and Scott downed a bottle of cream sherry, in one, to steady his nerves. Barrie’s lawyer couldn’t call a soused Scott to stand as witness- Barrie was on his own. In Court Room 16 the Procurator Fiscal produced evidence- a metal pole with Barrie's name attached. The police witness couldn’t identify the object as the 'weapon' from the crime scene! The pole, as he recollected from his notes, was wooden not metal. The Procurator Fiscal requested that the trial be adjourned for 45 minutes while they tried to locate the actual evidence! Three quarters of an hour later and- you’ll never faaken believe it! A wooden pole turned up, again with Barrie’s name on it. It was his word against theirs. Was Barrie implying that the police were committing perjury? The judge had no alternative other than to find him guilty of a ‘very serious’ crime.

 January 2010, sentencing day, Room 15, Glasgow Sheriff Court. I arrived in time for Barrie's lawyer to pass my letter of commendation to the judge. The judge peered over his spectacles at the room of assembled guilty and asked ”Is Mr Gavin Evans in court?” Barrie turned to me from the dock and I raised my finger. “Ah, the smartly dressed man at the front!” The heads of the condemned turned my way. “Mmm... Photographer in Residence with the National Theatre of Scotland,” he was impressed. In giving his verdict the judge summed that Barrie was indebted to his referees and, despite the serious nature of the crime, he would commute the sentence from a custodial term to one of 18 months probation.
 Without letters of commendation from 'professionals' could Barrie be serving a sentence in Barlinnie for a crime of fiction? You'd better believe it!