Interview: Station Stories creator Sven Warner explains his latest installation storytelling project
A series of transportative peep shows will take place in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen's train stations
In recent programmes for arthouse Cryptic, Sven Warner has become a local hero. Working in the space between film, installation and theatre – and in a distinctive studio above a fish market – Warner has created events that are witty and experimental. Suggesting old-fashioned peep shows – driven by a romantic, if sometimes sinister, story – his installations are ambitious triumphs of imagination that recall the obscure communities of later David Lynch and the free-wheeling worlds of Tom Waits and the Beat Poets.
His latest work, Station Stories, is his most accessible yet: it appears in train stations. 'I wouldn't consider myself a railway geek: I don't know about particular trains,' Warner insists. 'But I do like taking trains. I find it almost reassuring that the rails connect all the way to China and somewhere you could draw a line and go to the rest of Europe and Asia. I find that special.'
'The final format will be three weeks of public installations, two peep shows on tripods at the centre of the various stations. People can wander by, settle down and disappear into another place.' Each peep show has a collection of stories from around Scotland. 'They are poetic or inspiring moments and some are connected to travelling,' he continues. Warner's ability to illustrate through a mixture of cinematic and theatrical styles, will transform them further.
While the location will make the peep shows an intriguing addition to the platform furniture, they also bring Warner to wider attention as part of the Homecoming 2014 programme. Warner's skill is in creating an intimate experience, that conjures up an almost nostalgic atmosphere and speaks of places and adventures that tantalise and seduce. Warner's own thoughts on transport are elusive, but capture something of the experience he presents.
'I am not a trainspotter,' he laughs. 'But the sound of a train passing in the night has always done something for me!'
Wednesday 26th – Saturday 29th November Glasgow Queen St Station
Wednesday 3rd – Saturday 6th December Aberdeen Station
Wednesday 10th – Saturday 13th December Edinburgh Waverley Station