Artistic exploration of Aberdeenshire reaches halfway

Three artists who are supporting the development of a new identity for Aberdeenshire are making their way up the coast after setting off from Ballater earlier this month.

Travelling with their trademark yellow caravan, Jan Williams and Chris Teasdale of The Caravan Gallery, call their project a “social club on wheels” where people can come together and share local stories and fascinating facts about their place.

The artists are visiting communities across Aberdeenshire to explore the unique identity of the area and speak to local people about what makes their community special. The artistic project will contribute towards the development of a new Aberdeenshire brand in 2014.

They will visit Fraserburgh on Saturday, November 23 and Tuesday, November 26.

The Aberdeenshire Ways project has already toured extensively across the Marr and Kincardine & Mearns areas and is now heading north to meet local people living in other areas of Aberdeenshire.

The artists are encouraging local people to get involved in the project as it passes through their area by popping in to their mobile exhibition venue to speak to them and bringing in objects, stories or facts that represent their feelings about their community. Contribute to an evolving exhibition in The Caravan Gallery by adding places of interest to a people’s map of Aberdeenshire and completing a survey.

The Caravan Gallery duo have been practicing their unique style of artistic engagement for more than a decade in a journey which has taken their caravan and photographic installations across Britain and as far afield as Tokyo. Placemaking artist Jacques Coetzer, who is also involved in the project, says that so far the trio have gathered valuable information from communities along Deeside.

He said: “I was particularly pleased to meet relatives of Sir Patrick Geddes, the Aberdeenshire-born visionary and urban planner who came up with the philosophy of “Think global, act local”. Geddes’ ideas offer a key to understanding regional identity and I hope it will help to shape the new branding of Aberdeenshire, to be developed in 2014.”

Aberdeenshire Provost Jill Webster said: “The Aberdeenshire Ways project has already collected lots of interesting and colourful information about our communities. This is a great way for us to find out what matters most to the residents of Aberdeenshire and what makes the area special for them.”