Nicky Bird

Beneath the Surface / Hidden Place

Beneath the Surface / Hidden Place (2007-2010)

A major Stills commission that explored the physical and emotional effects of economic change and regeneration in Scotland

The history under our feet to the time when our own may be under foot in future: this was the central theme explored by this project. It set out to see how photography and archaeology could be incorporated in both literal and metaphorical ways to speak of ‘history’ – particularly history that is within living memory connected to a changed, erased or hidden place. The project worked in four locations across Scotland, in close collaboration with a range of individuals. The family snap played a central part in the process – see examples below of photographs of places that have undergone major change and in which personal history has been ambiguously caught.






Beneath the Surface / Hidden Place, 2010: the book

Artist Essay: ‘Whither the roots? Photographing the Erased Home’ in
Home/Land: Women, Citizenship, Photographies edited by Marion Arnold and Marsha Meskimmon. (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2016). pp.325-341

Interview with Jan McTaggart & Karen Hamilton
The Radio Cafe, BBC Radio Scotland, 2008

The List 3-17 July 2008
The Scotsman 30 May 2008

Supported by:

Scottish Arts Council
The National Lottery through the Scottish Arts Council
Edinburgh City Council

Special thanks to the collaborators:

Alexander Brown (Craigmillar, Edinburgh)
Karen Hamilton, Martin Peter, Mark Scott & Lesley Weir (Ardler, Dundee)
Drew Johnstone & Mary Kennedy (Doon Valley, East Ayrshire)
Jan McTaggart & George McTaggart (Foxbar, Paisley)

And to:

Mike Greenlaw, Craigmillar Arts Centre, Edinburgh
Dr Mike Cressey & Dr Melanie Johnson of CFA Archaeology LTD
Alistair MacLeod & the Ardler Village Trust, Ardler
Elaine Mackie, Doon Valley Museum, East Ayrshire Council
Kate Maynard, Principal Museums Officer, East Lothian Council
Biddy Simpson, Heritage Officer/Council Archaeologist, East Lothian Council