Beneath the Surface / Hidden Place


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 investigated 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 of showing how personal history has been ambiguously caught up processes of major change.

Beneath the Surface / Hidden Place: The Full Series

20 C-Type prints, framed (13 89cm x 62cm, 7 57cm x 38cm)
2 vitrines with painted overlay maps, selection personal and press photographs
Printed ephemera: Ardler memory map, edition of 1000
2 Public sited works (photographs printed onto transparent resin), Prestongrange Museum & Morrison’s Haven, East Lothian, Scotland

Related Resources

Bird, Nicky. Beneath the Surface / Hidden Place, 2010.

Contributors: Nicky Bird, Karen Hamilton, Kirsten Lloyd, Elaine Mackie, Ray McKenzie, Jan McTaggart and Rhona Warwick

A 48 page publication
33 illustrations, 30 full colour, 3 B&W
285 x 206mm (landscape)
ISBN: 978-0-906458-07-5

Edited by Cheryl Connell
Designed by Robert Dallas Gray
Stills, Edinburgh 2010

Interview with Nicky Bird, Karen Hamilton and Jan McTaggart, The Radio Cafe, BBC Radio Scotland, 2008. 11 minutes 10 seconds.

Pollock, David. ‘Nicky Bird: Beneath the Surface/Hidden Place,’ The List, 3 July 2008
The List 3-17 July 2008

Mansfield, S. ‘Nicky Bird: Beneath the Surface/Hidden Place,’ The Scotsman, 29 May 2008, p.11

Normand, Tom. ‘Reconfiguring Documentary Photography in a Globalised World: some contemporary projects from Scotland’. In Studies in Photography, 48-57, 2013. ISSN 1462-0510

Bird, Nicky. ‘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

TOP IMAGE: Nicky Bird & Jan McTaggart: Foxbar, Paisley. Back of Annan Drive, 1977? / Back of Springvale Drive, 2007