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Comprehensive survey of Nicola Atkinson Does Fly Artworks


NADFLY as Curator and Initiators

Selected Writings

Duncan McLaren, Chris Hladowski, Bob Collins, Dr Manfred J Holler, Peter Allam, Ben Spencer, David Harding, Pauline Gallacher, Michael Wilson, Adam Simon and Yuneikys Villalonga

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SEE EYE 23rd - 24th March 2007


SEE EYE (Collaborative interventions) has brought together a group of creative people, working with the Abbeyview community to provide an artistic accompaniment to the regeneration scheme. This was made possible through interaction with a number of individuals and organisations in Abbeyview, alongside funding from Fife Council and Communities Scotland. The opportunity to present works in alternative spaces, such as a vacant block of flats, as well as efforts to enhance living and working environments such as the library, the regeneration office, and the eco house, has led to the creation of a number of works, some transient in nature, others more permanent.

The SEE EYE team was put together by Nicola Atkinson Does Fly as a means of working in collaboration with other artists, alongside the people of Abbeyview , on a series of artistic ‘interventions’. The team is made up of the artists Hanna Tuulikki, Carol Lambie and Karen Vaughan, musician Stevie Jackson, cultural broker Ben Spencer, carpenter Nick Millar and writers Michael Wilson and Chris Hladowski. The team is showing a series of works at an event in the Allan Crescent flats (112-126) on March 23rd and 24th 2007, as well as one piece, by Carol Lambie, in Abbeyview library.

There was a premise of collaboration which dictated everyone’s individual approach from the outset. Nicola provides the hub or point of contact for this, with each individual artist acting as a satellite, bringing new ideas to the project and collaborating with each other. There were many unknowns, such as which groups we would engage with, and a concern that we wouldn’t be able to engage with the community as fully as we would like within a short time. From the outset there has been a strong desire to create an interesting and exciting series of works, for the people of Abbeyview to enjoy. Each individual has their own unique approach and skills, whether it be conceptualising, constructing work, making films and installations, playing music, or organising events, and it is both challenging and rewarding to channel this into collaborative works.

Nicola has talked of the idea of the ‘phantom community’, the idea that someone else speaking on behalf of the people can only offer an abstract idea of what their thoughts are. The reality is always much more complex, and hopefully by taking this into account SEE EYE can provide a varied program of works which are responsive to the entire area of Abbeyview, its people and environs.

With regards to the current exhibition the SEE EYE team decided that, at the moment, a temporary piece is the most powerful representation of Abbeyview given the fact that it is in a process of transition. A lot of the work interprets destruction in an artistic way, and alludes to re-growth and an awareness of what has passed. Metaphors and symbols abound - the uprooting of trees, family ties, the flight of birds, the black crows on the estate – alongside music, celebration and the use of light. Even though many of the works are temporary they will mutate into other forms – Ben Spencer’s yew trees will find their way to Pittencrief Park, Hanna Tuulikki’s lanterns will entertain the children of Abbeyview crèche, hopefully for years to come, and who knows where Stevie Jackson’s anthem for Abbeyview will get played,. Furthermore the Cabinet of Curiosities, being constructed by Nick Millar, as an artistic resource, housing individual art works alongside books chosen by the artists.

This SEE EYE event has started new ideas and contribute to what will be created over Nicola’s residency until March 08.

The SEE EYE team.


Flat 120
For 702 Dwellings Nicola Atkinson Does Fly presents a vision of Abbeyview in the form of miniature cardboard houses embossed with gold leaf drawings, serving as a memorial to the houses that have been or are due to be demolished. They will be constructed and personalised by pupils at Woodmill High School, and exhibited in flat 120.


Flat 120 & International Women’s week
forget-me-not & Sew the Sofa - Karen Vaughan's
artwork, Sew the Sofa explores the ideas that surround the notion of the family tree. Working with individuals ‘memories’ or ‘histories’ that people bring along we will produce physical ‘reminders’ that will be attached to the sofa. Each piece will be cut into a leaf shape in order to tie in with this concept. The work will form a permanent exhibition for local people to sit on in the Regeneration Office, providing a much needed discreet meeting point.


forget-me-not - Karen Vaughan’s installation in Flat 120 utilises second hand clothes and furniture. She will use traditional crafts in order to allude to the ancestry, cultural identity, strength, re-growth and restoration of the immediate area.


Flat 122
Nest - Hanna Tuulikk
i is creating apiece called ‘Nest’ that, through the medium of sound and light, seeks to alter the reality of the flat. By animating the space with two ‘dream machines’ her work aims to highlight the dual aspects of sanctuary as opposed to the reality of broken windows and abandoned space, finding expression in ideas of fantasy/nightmare. By facilitating a dialogue with the crèche she hopes to discuss how the children were affected by the process of housing reallocation, producing a dream machine that will be exhibited in the crèche.


Flat 124
The Electric Box - Stevie Jackson
Two songs inspired by and performed in Abbeyview. Conversations involving the Abbeyview Junior Wardens and the ex-tenants of Allan Crescent influenced the song “Electric Box”, with “Bird’s Eye View“ drawing on images of one of the abandoned flats and the piece of writing below. They were written in an empty flat in Allan Crescent and in St Ninian’s Church Main Hall then produced as a 45 record. Stevie will be performing his songs live at 1pm on both days of the SEE EYE event.


Flat 124 & Abbeyview Library
Bird's Eye View & Ghost Lines - Carol Lambie
has involved Abbeyview Library users and staff through the piece entitled Ghost Lines. Creating a line drawing directly onto the library window, she will represent the view looking out to the curve of the flats as seen from a fixed point. This invites interaction from the audience to realign the drawing with the view, thus giving insight into the artistic process and challenging what is real and what is interpreted through subjective experience. Bird's Eye View focuses on the views from the upper flats that will fall along with the windows on demolition day, describing them through illuminated drawings. They will be shown in the darkness of Flat 124 before the vantage point is lost forever.


Flat 126
Potent - Ben Spencer's
work of continuity and foresight - building on the past for the future. Through consideration of the environment, and particularly the treelessness of Abbeyview, the work re-contextualizes this observation of the landscape in order to celebrate the regeneration of the area.


Michael Wilson's O Wall translations of graffiti found on the walls of Pompeii and other ancient sites, suggesting a continuum of spontaneous unofficial expression (otherwise known as "vandalism") from historical times through to the present. These are reproduced on the interior of the Allan Crescent flat by the rest of the SEE EYE team who have selected a passage from Micheal work and chosen the medium, size and location.

Furthermore, Nick Millar and Chris Hladowski are creating a Cabinet of Curiosities to provide a legacy for the regeneration of Abbeyview, documenting the SEE EYE interventions and providing an interactive resource for the community to engage with and learn from. The Cabinet will be sited at different venues for one year. Proposed venues include Woodmill High School, the Regeneration Office, the Post Office, the Library, the Bowling Club, and the Tryst Centre. To be launched in August.



The team itself has worked in collaboration with Woodmill High School, the Abbeyview junior wardens, the tenants of Allan Crescent, community youth workers at the Tryst Centre, the crèche in Allan Crescent, Abbeyview library users, the Abbeyview Regeneration Office, the steering group, and the general public who attend the International Women's Day event.

"The Regeneration Forum are extremely happy to see the artist in Abbeyview doing work with the community for the benefit of regeneration. It is good to see her working with children and adults alike and we are looking forward to seeing the projects up and about in Abbeyview."


Sheona Murray, Chairperson of The Regeneration Forum


Photo credit: N.Atkinson Davidson


© Nicola Atkinson.Does Fly. All images taken and created by Nicola Atkinson.Does Fly unless otherwise stated. Site produced by The Public & NADFLY.  

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