elise campbell
Nine Minute Dumpling
Cumbernauld Hit
The Antonine Shopping Centre, Cumbernauld, Scotland 2009

“Cumbernauld town centre never reached its full potential and now, forty years later the town centre now finds itself deprived of quality shops and has numerous vacant shop units.” Neville Rae, 2009

Artist Neville Rae, originally from Cumbernauld, initiated an exhibition within empty units of the Antonine Shopping Centre. He invited artists, designers and architects to occupy vacant shops and present work that responded to the ‘geography, architecture, art and sociology of Cumbernauld’.

Public perception of the town is very poor. Cumbernauld has on several occasions been nationally hailed as one of the worst and ugliest places to live in the UK. Keen to discount bad press, this project aimed to discover the town’s qualities and social context via the residents themselves. Engagement with the local community would be integral to the success of the project.

An article was written in the local newspaper, The Cumbernauld News, inviting volunteers to bake their favourite recipes in their homes. Conversations were to be recorded, with the purpose of unearthing facts and stories about the town which would later inform work for the exhibition. It was also proposed that a book of recipes from the people of Cumbernauld was to be printed, along with anecdotes and photographs.

One volunteer came forward and a Nine Minute Dumpling was baked. The process of baking the dumpling was documented (audio recording and photographs).

The work at The Antonine Shopping Centre responded to the baking session of the nine minute dumpling.

It is hoped that this project can be re-visited and developed in the future.