24 Sep, 2023 Community Creations Lifestyle & Inspiration Wood Collections

Scottish graduate uses Hunterian Museum archive drawers to build her own archive

Glasgow School of Art graduate, Susan Breckenridge, has repurposed ex-Hunterian Museum archive drawers to create her own immersive archive installation.

The Glasgow-based artist has recently completed the MLitt Fine Art Practice Programme, centring her practice around personal experiences and everyday society. Using everyday objects which often go unnoticed or are regarded as unimportant, she places these artefacts under a different lens and encourages the user to rethink their relationship to them.

What drew you to using the archive drawers in your practice?

“The Hunterian Museum have been reorganising their stores, recycling some of their old drawers through Glasgow Wood. I found it hard to not feel drawn to them!

It was a perfect match, because I wanted to source the materials sustainably and it fits with my practice which looks at memory and the preservation of objects. A wider range types and sizes of drawers became available as their project progressed, so it was worth going back a few times.”


Susan’s most recent collection of work informs the audience that everyday objects can hold high value, and the ‘too-familiar’ should never be overlooked. Her cabinets of curiosity document her childrens’ childhood memories. First haircut clippings, letters to Santa, and drawings and sculptures from nursery are just some of the objects held in these cabinets.

“I logged every item in a catalogue and displayed them as if they were part of a real archive. I wanted the viewer to be transported out of an exhibition space and into an archive, enveloped by visuals, sounds and smells (from the archive drawers). I created a room filled with photographs, artefacts, flowers, leaves and soundscape from the projection slides, all representing my childrens’ lives right up to present day.”

What’s next for you and your creative practice? Will you be using more reclaimed wood, and have you got any further plans for these pieces?


“Now that I’ve completed my Masters, I’m considering further studies, perhaps a PhD. The work I’ve already completed will form the basis of future research and a continuing practice using reclaimed materials.

I was also very lucky to receive some glass domes and two cabinets from the Hunterian Museum as they re-organised their archive, so I’m really excited to utilise them in my next project.”

“This installation was exactly how I imagined it. It wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Glasgow Wood.”

Explore the MLitt Fine Art Practice and complete postgraduate showcase online.


Thinking about using the drawers for your own project?

Visit our timber page for more details.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!