An account of weekly workshops by Isabel Dickens
This November at Platform we are delighted to share a new exhibition - Mining Seams and Drawing Wells: A Living Archive for Easterhouse.
Supported by the Year of Stories 2022 Community Stories Fund, the exhibition launches on Saturday 19 November (until 28 Jan 2023) with an opening event – Tenement Salon.
Platform commissioned artists Keira McLean and Joey Simons to work with local residents in Easterhouse and surrounding areas, as well as Platform group members, to explore the area’s hidden histories, myths and legends, weaving together the personal and collective stories of a community in constant flux.
The exhibition presents original artwork and archival materials brought together in a ‘living archive’, featuring creative writing, poetry, collage, maps, timelines and visual storytelling.
The Tenement Salon launch event (Sat 19 Nov at 2pm – free but ticketed) will open the exhibition with a cosy afternoon of community storytelling, poetry and film – a sharing of interconnected histories, a chance to see the new exhibition and the launch of a new publication: Mining Seams and Drawing Wells: a living archive for Easterhouse, bringing together original writing and printmaking with archival material from Easterhouse and beyond.
Arts and Communities Lead Margaret McCormick who commissioned the project said: “Mining Seams and Drawing Wells is about celebrating interconnecting histories and sharing our stories. Inspired by the coal seams and ancient wells that run beneath Easterhouse, our aim was to unearth the myths, legends and hidden histories that have shaped the community.
“Keira and Joey have been delivering workshops locally to create the exhibition – including weekly visual storytelling sessions at Platform – and meeting with people and groups to unpick various stories and memories”.
“This exhibition shares the voice of a community that has always fought hard to make itself heard. It’s important to keep these stories alive, to document them and to keep sharing. It’s the start of something new and exciting and we hope that people will come along to our opening event to experience it for themselves and grab a cuppa with us!"
Joey Simons, co-artist for the project, added: “Over the past few years, we have worked with Platform and others to document and share the hidden histories of local communities across Glasgow.
“This has included republishing the work of the Easterhouse poet Freddy Anderson and others, and creating a timeline of Glasgow housing struggles as part of Martha Rosler’s If You Live Here…archive at the Glasgow Women’s Library. We have worked with the legendary activist Cathy McCormack, who sadly passed away this year, and members of the Living Rent tenants’ union from Dennistoun and Wellpark, as well as many others, to continue enriching this history.
“The project also gave us the chance to work with the poets Victoria McNulty and Jim Ferguson, whose writings have long explored the city, and the East End in particular. We hope the exhibition and ‘living archive’ gives people a space to continue contributing their own stories and asserting their own experiences, and questions who gets to tell these stories, and why.”
Mining Seams and Drawing Wells takes place across the exhibition spaces at Platform and The Bridge – with opportunities planned for anyone to add their own stories and memories, swap tales across a cup of tea, and make sure the story of Easterhouse continues to be written.
The exhibition wall will feature a timeline of new artworks, the library terraces will show archive materials depicting local history from politics, protests and housing struggles and capture recent conversations with Cathy McCormack.
We are also looking for people within the area to come forward and share their stories and memories as part of the exhibition as it progresses over the coming months.
Mining Seams and Living Wells: Sat 19 Nov – Sat 28 Jan 2023 | 10am – 5pm | Monday – Saturday | Free admission / drop in
Year of Stories 2022 Communities Stories Fund
This exhibition/event has been supported by the Year of Stories 2022 Community Stories Fund. This fund is being delivered in partnership between VisitScotland and Museums Galleries Scotland with support from National Lottery Heritage Fund thanks to National Lottery players. Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022 is a celebration of stories inspired by, written, or created in Scotland. Stories are a vital part of Scotland’s culture and every community has a different tale to tell. In 2022, a whole host of events will be held across Scotland – by community groups, museums, culture and heritage organisations and visitor attractions – showcasing our rich storytelling and literary heritage.