Over the last fifteen years, Nicky Bird has examined the themes of land, heritage, personal and social memory through a collaborative photographic practice. This show included new works and brought together several site-specific projects for the first time. Largely focussing on Scotland’s rural and small town communities, these projects were especially reimagined for Street Level Photoworks.

Travelling with photographic archives and the creation of new photographs is to encounter the memories, identities and lived experiences belonging to others. Legacy shared distinct stories and memories of place, work and family life through a range of photography, from the domestic postcard to civil engineering documentation. Particular photographs from the ‘past’ and its relationship to a present-day landscape reveal both personal and community memory within a changing Scottish Landscape.

#ArtUnlocks #history #memory: due to COVID-19, Street Level Photoworks combined both 3D and physical versions of the show, accompanied by three online events to enable the widest #staysafe access possible to Legacy.

View the 3D Exhibition Tour


From the Gallery: Nicky Bird Walk & Talk Tour, 22 April 2021

Shifting Photographic Grounds: Nicky Bird in conversation with Annebella Pollen, 20 May 2021


We are Social History: Anne Lyden, Catherine McPhee, Alishia Farnan & Iseult Timmermans, 5 June 2021

Related Resources

Nicky Bird – Guest Artist, The Drouth, May 2021

Locating Practice / Locating Legacy : Nicky Bird at Streetlevel, Eszter Biró, The Drouth, 7 May 2021

Living history and the ghosts of the past in Nicky Bird’s haunting exhibition, Mark Brown, The National, 9 May 2021

Art reviews: Nicky Bird | Iman Tajik | Ambi | Jim Lambie, Susan Mansfield, The Scotsman, 28 May 2021

Featured Projects – Related Resources to Wall-based Works

Beneath the Surface / Hidden Place, 2007-2010
A photographic project investigating the physical and emotional effects of economic change and regeneration in Scotland

Travelling the Archive, 2015-2016 / 2020
A site-specific project that brought together the past and present through returning a slide collection back to its original location

Heritage Site, 2014-2016 / 2020
A lens-based art and archaeology project working with the story of a house buried in five industrial spoil heaps, known as the Five Sisters

Ghosting the Castle, 2017 / 2020
A photographic mapping project that focused on the layered histories and issues related to Helmsdale’s medieval castle and the A9 bridge which replaced it

Featured Projects – Related Resources to Vitrine work

The Decorators, 2019-2020
A new project that focuses on a group of women who worked as decorators for the Buchan & Co Thistle potteries in the late 1960s.

Featured Bookworks & Essays – Vitrine display

Tracing Echoes, 2001
Leeds: Wild Pansy Press, 2001. ISBN 1 900687135

Travelling the Archive, 2016
Souvenir booklet. Edition of 300. Isle of Skye: Atlas Arts, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-9935620-0-6

‘Ghosting the Castle: the case of (re)landscaping in a Northern place,’ in D. White and C. Goldie (eds.), Proximity and Distance in Northern Landscape Photography, 141-159. Transcript Verlag, Bielefeld. July 2020.
ISBN: 978-3-8376-4950-5

Ghosting the Castle: A Map between Archive and Memory, 2017
Foldout art map, edition of 18. Leeds: Wild Pansy Press, 2017

‘Whither the Roots? Photographing the erased home,’ in M. Arnold and M.Meskimmon (eds), Home/Land: Women, Citizenship, Photographies, 325-341, Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2016. ISBN 978-1-78138-280-6

Beneath the Surface / Hidden Place, Edinburgh: Stills, 2010
ISBN 978-0-906458-07-5

‘From Car Showroom to Casino: A Midlothian Site of History,’ in A.Vermehen (ed), True North: From Documentation to Re-writing History, 34-43, Helmsdale: Timespan, 2016. ISBN 978-0-9565610-7-7

Shadowing Rogovin: Retracing Family of Miners, Scotland 1982,’ in Studies In Photography, 60-69, The Scottish Society of the History of Photography. Summer 2020. ISSN: 1462-0510

TOP IMAGE: Beneath the Surface / Hidden Place, 2007-2010
With Lesley Weir: Ardler, Dundee
Multi Park, circa 1977-78 / Scotscraig Road, 2007