SEE EYE (Collaborative interventions) has brought together a group of creative people, working with the Abbeyview community to provide an artistic accompaniment to the regeneration scheme. This was made possible through interaction with a number of individuals and organisations in Abbeyview, alongside funding from Fife Council and Communities Scotland. The opportunity to present works in alternative spaces, such as a vacant block of flats, as well as efforts to enhance living and working environments such as the library, the regeneration office, and the eco house, has led to the creation of a number of works, some transient in nature, others more permanent.

The SEE EYE team was put together by Nicola Atkinson as a means of working in collaboration with other artists, alongside the people of Abbeyview , on a series of artistic ‘interventions’. The team is made up of the artists Hanna Tuulikki, Carol Lambie and Karen Vaughan, musician Stevie Jackson, cultural broker Ben Spencer, carpenter Nick Millar and writers Michael Wilson and Chris Hladowski. The team is showing a series of works at an event in the Allan Crescent flats (112-126) on March 23rd and 24th 2007, as well as one piece, by Carol Lambie, in Abbeyview library.

There was a premise of collaboration which dictated everyone’s individual approach from the outset. Nicola provides the hub or point of contact for this, with each individual artist acting as a satellite, bringing new ideas to the project and collaborating with each other. There were many unknowns, such as which groups we would engage with, and a concern that we wouldn’t be able to engage with the community as fully as we would like within a short time. From the outset there has been a strong desire to create an interesting and exciting series of works, for the people of Abbeyview to enjoy. Each individual has their own unique approach and skills, whether it be conceptualising, constructing work, making films and installations, playing music, or organising events, and it is both challenging and rewarding to channel this into collaborative works.

Nicola has talked of the idea of the ‘phantom community’, the idea that someone else speaking on behalf of the people can only offer an abstract idea of what their thoughts are. The reality is always much more complex, and hopefully by taking this into account SEE EYE can provide a varied program of works which are responsive to the entire area of Abbeyview, its people and environs.

With regards to the current exhibition the SEE EYE team decided that, at the moment, a temporary piece is the most powerful representation of Abbeyview given the fact that it is in a process of transition. A lot of the work interprets destruction in an artistic way, and alludes to re-growth and an awareness of what has passed. Metaphors and symbols abound - the uprooting of trees, family ties, the flight of birds, the black crows on the estate – alongside music, celebration and the use of light. Even though many of the works are temporary they will mutate into other forms – Ben Spencer’s yew trees will find their way to Pittencrief Park, Hanna Tuulikki’s lanterns will entertain the children of Abbeyview crèche, hopefully for years to come, and who knows where Stevie Jackson’s anthem for Abbeyview will get played,. Furthermore the Cabinet of Curiosities, being constructed by Nick Millar, as an artistic resource, housing individual art works alongside books chosen by the artists.

This SEE EYE event has started new ideas and contribute to what will be created over Nicola’s residency until March 08.

The SEE EYE team.

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