Nick Miller talks about Abbeyview

I enjoyed the experience of working in Abbeyview immensely. I was especially drawn to the idea of an artist-led project marking this great change in the built environment of Abbeyview and responding not just to the physical environment but also to the changing social environment. I found Abbeyview interesting in that it is similar to many housing schemes all over Scotland - a place built in the 1950s for people moving out of the cities and towns to "nicer”, “cleaner” areas with improved facilities and better housing. Curiously now, with the regeneration, the area is being made even more suburban, replacing flats with small semi-detached and detached houses because this is what people want to live in now. These buildings of the ‘50s seemed to mark a new cycle of impermanency both architecturally and culturally. By only lasting a few decades they sit in marked contrast to the presumed permanency of architecture and social engineering of the ever dominant Victorian era.

My aim with the Curiosity Cabinet was to highlight this sense of change by using old, discarded furniture, from the decades when the flats had stood. And with the furniture to create a new object which seemed to lack a single defining form, instead offering many different perspectives and space to engage the viewer’s imagination. For me, my brief time working in Abbeyview was extremely rewarding, especially in the connections I made with other artists as we found ways of incorporating their work into the cabinet.


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