Camara Taylor, 'backwash', 2022. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Tom Nolan.

Camara Taylor, 'backwash', 2022. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Tom Nolan.

Camara Taylor


18 Jun 2022 — 4 Sep 2022  


Camara commissioned curator and writer Seán Elder to create a response to accompany backwash, their exhibition at Collective last summer. In this piece, Seán reflects on Camara’s research and new work, thinking poetically about backwash, spit, and all the colonial threads that run through Scottish shores.

Listen to Sean read aloud here; or read it here.

About the Writer:

Seán Elder is a curator and writer currently based in Birmingham, originally from the Scottish Highlands. Elder works with artists to develop events, exhibitions and text for organisations which have previously included: Jerwood Arts, London; BALTIC 39, Newcastle upon Tyne; Grand Union, Birmingham; and LUX Scotland, Glasgow. Previously Associate Curator at Grand Union, and Writer in Residence at Cooper Gallery, Dundee, Elder was named the inaugural recipient of the Stuart Croft Curatorial Award in 2020 to support a new project: The Birmingham Critical Film Forum.

Exhibition information:

In summer 2022, Collective presented three new, distinct artist commissions across the City Observatory site and online.

Using the City Observatory site as a springboard, Collective’s programme considered the hidden histories and untold stories relating to our site and wider cultural history. Bringing together new work by Annette Krauss, Ruth Ewan, and Satellites participant Camara Taylor, our summer programme of solo exhibitions and related events reframes and questioned complex figures, movements and systems whose legacies are woven into our collective cultural memory. All three projects were developed with the artists, in some cases over a number of years, to explore how the legacies of the past can be reconsidered and re-presented to help us re-imagine the present and future.


Rooted in ideas of silt, slop and snap, backwash was an exhibition by Glasgow-based artist Camara Taylor, and formed part of Collective’s Satellites Programme.

Central to backwash was Camara’s ongoing conversation with Scottish waterways and a collection of considerable addresses, memorials, petitions, answers, proclamations, declarations, letters and other public papers spanning multiple centuries.

Through the exhibition, Camara offered new video and mixed-media work recomposed from the sighs and groans of a sinking kingdom; a short-lived Company; several ports and a pistole.

Satellites is Collective’s development programme for creative practitioners based in Scotland. The 2021 participants are: Stephanie Black-Daniels, Mina Heydari-Waite, Katherine Ka Yi Liu 廖加怡, Joey Simons and Camara Taylor.

Satellites Programme is supported by Baillie Gifford.
backwash by Camara Taylor is supported by The Elephant Trust.