Polish public wowed by photos from Fife

The society members with Kate (second from left)

The society members with Kate (second from left)

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FIVE Fife photographers have just returned from a week in Poland where they wowed people from around the country with their work.

The members of Kirkcaldy Photographic Society spent a week in Gliwice in the south of the country where their work was on show in the town’s main gallery as part of a major arts festival.

The gallery in Gliwice where the Kirkcaldy Photographic Society's work was shown

The gallery in Gliwice where the Kirkcaldy Photographic Society's work was shown

A selection of photographs taken by members of the organisation included landscapes and seascapes, nature, artistic black and white prints and a section on sports photography, with lots of shots from Highland Games taken by the society’s chairman Ron Russell.

Ron along with members Martin Watt, Grant Morris, Wanda Mackie and Roy Balfour, was accompanied by Katarzyna Jajszczok (Kate), the former curator of the Gliwice gallery, who now lives with her partner in Kirkcaldy.

She organised the exhibition through her old colleagues and put together the itinerary for the group’s trip, which included a trip down a coal mine, a visit to a fire ravaged theatre, sightseeing over the nearby Czech border and some time in Krakow.

Wanda Mackie from Kirkcaldy, who has been a member of the society for around two years, said: “Having our photographs on display in the gallery was a fantastic experience and all the local people couldn’t have been nicer
to us.

An arty shot of a cyclist in Gliwice's town square

An arty shot of a cyclist in Gliwice's town square

“They seemed to really like our work and were very interested in Scotland and asked us lots of questions about our pictures and where we live.”

The photographers also visited Gliwice’s radio tower known as the ‘Silesian Eiffel Tower’ which is believed to be the oldest standing wooden tower in the world, and took a trip to Krakow where they had the chance to visit Oskar Schindler’s factory. The German industrialist is credited with saving the lives of around 1200 Jewish people by employing them in his factory, ensuring their safety.

Wanda said: “There were so many highlights of the trip that I couldn’t pinpoint just one, and having Kate to guide us and tell us all about the points of interest, the best bars and entertainment was a great bonus.

“On the evening when the exhibition opened and all the galleries were open for 24 hours she showed us around all the different venues and it was fantastic to see all the talent on display.

Gliwice's famous wooden radio tower

Gliwice's famous wooden radio tower

“We all had the option to go on trips or spend more time in Gliwice and we just met up as and when we wanted, which was good too.

“All the tourist attractions there are really well used, with people meeting and spending lots of time in the town square and parks and they really make the most of what they have. It made me think that Kirkcaldy could really do much more with the attractions it has.

“It was a great trip and really worthwhile, and I think the Polish people appreciated us being there to display our photographs.”

Kate added: “All the feedback I have had from people in Gliwice has been very positive. The local people loved the Scottish photographs and were keen to learn more about those who took them.

A brass band in Gliwice celebrations

A brass band in Gliwice celebrations

“It was a very positive experience for me and something I would love to do with more groups in the future.”