The ground we built our homes upon is giving way. A tower is burning and there is ash in the air. The coffee at the bottom of my cup is, today, unreadable. And still, we find ourselves in paradise, that walled garden. What do our eyes fix upon? What are their names?
Cabinet Interventions was a project devised and led between myself, Shauna McMullan and Sue Brind; a collaboration between ten artists and the National Trust for Scotland at Pollok House. In post-Brexit Scotland, how might often-contested identities and histories be articulated through artist practice in institutions such as the Trust?
In 2017 the artists spent time in groups of three in residence at Pollok House, Glasgow, exploring the cultural, political, historical, ecological and sensorial context of the site. Following each residency, the artists hosted an event to share practice, exchange knowledge and open up critical dialogues about the themes and questions that arose during their residency. This involved Pollok House staff, volunteers, invited artists, academics and researchers, as well as the wider public.
An exhibition in April 2018, programmed as part of Glasgow International 2018, drew upon that research to present sound, installation, text and performance within and around the House.
Participating artists were: Ruth Barker, Susan Brind & Jim Harold, Jasper Coppes, Alan Currall, Sarah Forrest, Shona Macnaughton, Duncan Marquiss, Shauna McMullan and Joanna Peace.
My contribution to the exhibition was What kinds of times are these* (watching the fire from her garden), an installation of photographic lightboxes and a recording of a story read aloud. Read the story here.