Friday photo; Werner Kissling exhibition

Comunn Eachdraidh Uibhist a Deas will next week launch an exhibition of photographs of Werner Kissling.  The exhibition will open on July 2nd in the Kildonan Museum and features photographs which were on display in an exhibition last year in Bonn, Germany entitled Am Rande des Ozeans or At the Edge of the Ocean.

Kissling had a remarkable life, he was born into an aristocratic family in Germany and worked for the German diplomatic service.  His passion, however, was for photography, and as he travelled he took footage and photographs of the places he visited, in particular of Eriskay and South Uist.   As part of this passion, he took some of the earliest footage of the Western Isles in his film A Poem of Remote Lives, made in 1934.  The film showed islanders as they went about their daily lives tending to sheep and dying wool.  The money raised by the showing of this film in London was generously donated by Kissling to fund the building of a road across Eriskay, which came to be known as Rathad Kissling.

Kissling’s life took many twists and turns, from internment during WWII to near bankruptcy, however, he never lost his interest in photography and continued to take photographs until he neared 90 years old.

You can read more about the fascinating life of Kissling in Michael W. Russell’s books A Poem of Remote Lives and A Different Country, both available through Western Isles Libraries.  The image above is taken from the Western Isles Libraries’ photograph collection, and is sadly not one taken by Werner Kissling, though it does feature South Uist.

The exhibition of Werner Kissling’s photographs opens on Monday and runs until September 2012, please do drop in and view the fantastic photographs of a remarkable man.

About David Powell

Project Manager and Archivist with Tasglann nan Eilean Siar
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.