Aug 152013

By Jill Austin.

As I was walking past the old Summerhill Academy site on the Lang Stracht last Thursday night I noticed an amazing open-air gallery adorning the fencing.

It stretched all the way from the bus stop round the corner and down the lane to Gairsay Drive.

There were at least 20 works of art- ranging from 10” square to 5’ square!

They were composed in varying media from spray paint to fine pen-work to collage.

Unfortunately, the evening light was poor.

Therefore the quality of these photographs don’t do the artwork justice.

( Click on the images to enlarge. )

There was also a wee garden further down Gairsay Drive planted in shopping baskets.  [Photo- Little Garden2]

Two of the arts contained something of a manifesto and the name of the group who had installed the gallery.

Intrigued, I investigated this group and managed to get a hold of them by email. They sent me the following statement:


1.The Creation

An open-air gallery and garden at the old SummerhilAcademy on the Lang Stracht.  A place once of education, a place once for community.

2. The Aim

To highlight with beauty the ugly mess that has been left by the supermarket wars of the 21st Century.

3. The Reasoning 

Morrisons have created a pile of rubble taller than the houses whose view it blights.

“This is because Tesco objected to their plans then throw up a supermarket on the site they had left unused for decades as soon as Morrisons acquired the Summerhill site. Tesco must think the people of Summerhill are only worth building a shop for to stop another chain from making profit.

The council may have given Morrisons the green light now, but will they replace the rubble with a store?

No profit in competing with Tesco next door. No profit in cleaning up their mess.

A working class area  – No local residents hold shares – no local residents hold sway – no local residents are rich and with power.

Supermarkets buy land and leave it unused to avoid tax.

Around 40 million square feet of land is owned by supermarkets. 

The vast majority of it will never be built upon.

Beneath the pavement, the beach!

We encourage people to reclaim their city, reclaim their spaces and make the ugly beautiful.

Fences are for climbing – borders are for crossing – the world is ours but only of we make it so, yes?”

MUSTA BLOKKI are an international incubationist fine ART bloc.

Their previous works include the 2011 installation “Wood”.

Constructed in bronze and granite (effect) it was erected in Union Terrace Gardens, which at the time were under threat. 

I would highly recommend a visit to this unusual gallery, but alas, it is no longer there.

Instead, I hope Aberdeen Voice readers can at least enjoy this pictorial record.

Here is a bit more about the group’s ethos – be inspired!


Art is accessible and free
Art can be created by anyone
Public space is contaminated by the corporate debris of the 21st century
Public space should be reclaimed – Beneath the pavement, the beach!
We resist corporate domination and social apathy
We commit to shaping something original despite our culture’s fascination with the disposable
We commit to shaping something original from society’s superficial consumer culture
If we cannot enjoy the process, we cannot enjoy the result

If we cannot dance it is not our revolution

  • Comments enabled – see comments box below. Note, all comments will be moderated.