A small nuclear exchange would kill millions of people indiscriminately and have a permanent and devastating impact on the world’s climate causing a drop in temperatures making some places uninhabitable.
This exhibition tells the stories of my experiences exploring the area’s of Faslane and Coulport. I spent so much time there I claimed this military landscape as a studio of my own; making art, walking and swimming in the context of nuclear disarmament and freedom to roam.
Intimidating interactions with the police and the navy have fuelled a great deal of my work, most significantly at Coulport where I was held by the police while they deleted my photos, carried out a background check and threatened me with a visit from the MOD.
In response to these exchanges I started to carry out temporary interventions; quiet, personal and playful protests, irritating and evading the police, honing my ideas to ‘bend the rules’.
I entered this landscape with trepidation, expecting a dark space built on a military culture alien to my experience and beliefs. What I found was a stunning natural landscape, and an intriguing community of peace campers, naval officers, bored police and conflicted civilians. Most surprisingly I developed a fascination in the on-going military occurrences, an obsession with nuclear submarines and an unconditional love for the Satellite Callibration Target which features in my work.
I gave my time to this place and it gave me so much more back. Helensburgh, Faslane, Garelochhead, Mambeg, Killcreggan, Dunoon and Coulport were my studio and these places and their people fed my work.
Claire Curtin is a Glasgow based interdisciplinary artist working in photography, printmaking, video and time-based media. This exhibition is part of Wasps Studios Art Programme.