About Us

6 November 2018

HES launches new exhibition exploring Scotland’s ‘Invisible Spaces’

A brand new photographic exhibition exploring the spaces that matter to young people in Scotland is opening at Summerhall in Edinburgh.

A black and white photo of a rucksack and a line of empty beer cans beside a railway track.

A brand new photographic exhibition exploring the spaces that matter to young people in Scotland will open at Summerhall in Edinburgh on Saturday 10 November 2018.

Invisible Spaces, co-curated by a group of 18-26 year olds and commissioned by Historic Environment Scotland (HES) to celebrate the Year of Young People, examines ideas of youth, identity, belonging and the built environment in 21st century Scotland.

The exhibition offers a snapshot of Scotland’s urban spaces from the perspective of its young people, exploring themes ranging from homelessness, transience and displacement to issues of mental health and minority identity, and focuses on those places that are often hidden, abandoned, neglected and overlooked.

A black and white photograph of a deserted railway station.

Pooja Suresh, one of the co-curators of Invisible Spaces, said “It has been an absolute privilege working with HES and other young people in Scotland. Being part of this incredible group has not only exposed me to a multitude of professional opportunities, but has also been a source of immense personal growth.

“It is incredible to see how different ideas and themes are bound by the single concept of ‘space’ in our exhibition. It is the one thread that not only ties all parts of Invisible Spaces together but also connects it to Visible Girls in a very distinct manner. 

“Exhibitions around spaces such as leisure activities, bars, everyday streetscapes and neighbourhood shops and homes are few and far between. With Invisible Spaces we hope to open up the exploration of such spaces and increase the discourse surrounding them.”

Neil Gregory, Deputy Head of Engagement at HES said: “It has been nothing short of inspiring to work with this group of young people to bring Invisible Spaces to Summerhall. 

“Their creativity and ideas have been both challenging and refreshing, and the resulting exhibition gives a powerful insight in to how young people relate to their built environment, and how these spaces have helped shape their identity.

“We’re also hugely grateful to Anita Corbin for the time, guidance and inspiration she has offered to our young photographers as they prepared for this exhibition.

“We will be adding the material from our co-curators to the National Record of the Historic Environment – our archive of Scotland’s archaeological, architectural and industrial history - providing a lasting legacy for this fantastic exhibition.”

The exhibition draws inspiration from photographer Anita Corbin’s acclaimed Visible Girls: Revisited exhibition, which will be on display at Summerhall for its first and only planned show in Scotland alongside Invisible Spaces until Friday 21 December.

Visible Girls: Revisited explores women’s history and the search for female identity and individuality through portraits of women from different cultural groups and subcultures that Corbin captured in the 1980s - from skinheads to new romantics - and traces their lives and experiences with newly commissioned portraits of the same women now.

Two teenage girls sitting on the wall of a large building. They are wearing matching outfits consisting of black hats, leather jackets, slogan t-shirts and turned-up jeans.

Anita Corbin, who began her celebrated photography career in the early 1980s with the Visible Girls series, said: “Working collaboratively with the young people of Scotland has given me a fascinating insight into their contemporary worlds, their hangouts and sanctuaries, where they are finding their way in the world today. 

“It is very humbling to see how my Visible Girls portraits, from the early 80s, have connected with the young artists of today - inspiring their response in a diverse and stimulating range of art work, and capturing their lives in 2018.

“It will be very revealing to look at these works again in the HES archive in 2055 (37 years on), just as I have done with my Visible Girls Revisited series. Photography is a very powerful tool.”

Visible Girls: Revisited and Invisible Spaces will be on display in the Basement Galleries at Summerhall in Edinburgh from 10 November to 21 December 2018 (excluding Mondays).  Entry to both exhibitions is free.

The National Record of the Historic Environment spans a vast range of buildings, archaeological monuments and industrial and maritime sites to give an unparalleled view of Scotland’s past.

About Historic Environment Scotland (HES)

  • We are the lead public body charged with caring for, protecting and promoting the historic environment. We will lead on delivering Scotland’s first strategy for the historic environment, Our Place in Time.
  • Historic Scotland, Scran, Canmore, The National Collection of Aerial Photography (NCAP), The Engine Shed, Stirling Castle and Edinburgh Castle are sub-brands of HES.
  • View our press pack and keep up to date by registering for media release email alerts. If you wish to unsubscribe, please contact us.

Year of Young People 2018

The Year of Young People (YoYP 2018) will inspire Scotland through its young people aged 8 to 26, celebrating their achievements, valuing their contributions to communities and creating new opportunities for them to shine locally, nationally and globally. Over 200 young people throughout Scotland will become #YOYP2018 Ambassadors, ensuring their communities know about local opportunities to celebrate young people.

Year of Young People 2018 logo

Follow Historic Environment Scotland

Twitter: @HistEnvScot | @welovehistory

Facebook: @HistoricEnvScotland | @VisitHistoricScotland

Instagram: @HistEnvScot | @historicscotland


For further information, please contact:
Claire Mullaney
Historic Environment Scotland Media Office
Direct line: 0131 668 8588
Mobile: 07881 512 379
Email: communications@hes.scot