Mar 242016

PVA IMAGE ONEWith thanks to John Morrison.

Peacock Visual Arts is delighted to present Drawing in Response.

Drawing in Response is the result of the Bethany Arts Project, led by Bethany Christian Trust, in partnership with Gray’s School of Art and Peacock Visual Arts.

Bethany Arts Project is an ambitious new art project working with local homeless and vulnerable people to help build confidence and learn new skills by participating in a series of printmaking and photography workshops.

Facilitated by Bethany’s Arts Coordinator, Caitlyn Main, and with the help of Gray’s School of Art students Aiden Milligan and David Brown, participants worked with Peacock’s printmakers to create exciting new work of their own.

The aim of the Bethany Arts Project is to enable homeless and vulnerable people to work with artists in a way that harnesses their experience, enthusiasm, and creativity, as well as increase their own self-esteem.

Bethany Arts Project seeks to challenge perceptions of homelessness and social exclusion and encourage more mutual respect and understanding across the city.

Date: 1-16 April 2016
Opening: Thursday 31st March 2016, All welcome
Location: Peacock Visual Arts

May 162014

With thanks to Kirsty Young.

!cid_42B9C865-FCFC-452D-9492-3B4D1597D1E1On Friday 16 May 2014, Aberdeen audiences will have the opportunity to see the results of Cecilia Stenbom’s participatory art project Manual.

The work will be shown on a loop in the gallery at Peacock Visual Arts from 9:30 – 5:30pm.

Cecilia Stenbom will then be present on the evening of Friday 16 May at 6pm for an informal question and answer session, for members of the audience to find out more about the project.

Manual started with a public participatory research event hosted by Peacock Visual Arts, which took place at Aberdeen City Council building, Seventeen, in November 2013.

The event consisted of a series of one-to-one interviews with members of the public that explore people’s everyday behaviours and habits in public space.

Participants were encouraged to talk about their own experiences, routines and preferences within the framework of everyday situations;  How do you choose a seat in a restaurant? What do you do in order to feel secure? Does surveillance make you feel safe or watched?

Do you take measures to avoid catching infections from other people? Do you have a system for staying safe in public space? How do you act when you run into someone you don’t want to run into? What do you find unacceptable behaviour? Do you have a preferred toilet cubicle?

The material recorded during this event was developed into a fictional artist film about how we deal with anxieties and hang-ups whilst in public space. Set entirely inside a shopping centre, the film follows the interactions between two sisters; one anxious about her personal safety, the other concerned with the invisible threat of infection.

The sterile atmosphere of the environment quickly becomes menacing as the women’s personal safety systems begin to fail.

Cecilia comments:

“I am really excited to come back to Aberdeen to show the work that came out of the participatory event ‘Manual’. The opinions and stories about behaviour in public space that I captured during the event in November is the basis for the fictional film about two women navigating a shopping centre. It is great to finally bring it back to Aberdeen to screen it.”

Manual has been supported by Arts Council England through the Grants for the Arts scheme.

Cecilia Stenbom (1976, Stockholm) is a visual artist and filmmaker. Originally from Sweden, has previously been based in Reykjavik, Helsinki and Glasgow and currently lives and works in the North East of England.

Q&A 6pm, Free admission. Please RSVP to

Location: Peacock Visual Arts, 21 Castle St, Aberdeen, AB11 5BQ

Nov 212013

-seeninthedeen 500This Friday, 22 Nov, 6 – 8pm, Peacock Visual Arts open their new winter exhibition, #SEENINTHEDEEN – Creative Characters from Aberdeen and Beyond.

The exhibition has been organised in collaboration with Aberdeen collective WLDWLVS.
The works included in the exhibition all use text and typography in some way; these include pieces by local artists Brian Ross, John Mackenzie and Neil Henderson amongst others, such as a large-scale mural commissioned for the show.

This work will be shown alongside that of established international artists Adam Bridgland, Chu, Scott Myles and many more.

It will bring together a rich variety of styles and disciplines from printmaking to graffiti.

The title, #SEENINTHEDEEN, was a quick method for WLDWLVS to start documenting the hidden side of Aberdeen that people could otherwise miss.

The inspiration originally came from graffiti, paste-ups and stickers posted around the city, however the hashtag has taken on a life of its own. It’s another way of looking at the city – these are images that won’t be found in the guidebooks but that show a truer representation of the city.

The exhibition invites contributions from residents and visitors of Aberdeen using social networking platforms Twitter and Instagram. Images of street photography from shop signs to graffiti, and everything else in-between, taken and tagged with #SEENINTHEDEEN will be displayed on the website, which will itself appear in the exhibition.

Neil Henderson of WLDWLVS said:

“we’re continually surprised by the gems people find around the city and we love the range of images presented; from the serious to the absurd. It was always our intention to bring the work together at some point and when the opportunity to partner with Peacock Visual Arts came around it just felt like a natural fit.”

The opening is sponsored by anCnoc and BrewDog and runs from 23rd november to 21st December.

  • Comments enabled – see comments box below. Note, all comments will be moderated.
Oct 152013

Following on from Timothy Neat’s Edinburgh Festival appearance at Summerhall, profiling his collaborations with John Berger, Peacock Visual Arts are proud to be hosting a major Retrospective of Neat’s life’s work, STANDS SCOTLAND WHERE SHE DID? from 27 September – 9 November 2013.

Martha Mackenzie, Scots Traveller, Fortinghall, November 1976 © Timothy Neat sq

Martha Mackenzie, Scots Traveller, Fortinghall, November 1976 © Timothy Neat

A stunning collection of photographs capturing experiences and relationships over a long life will be on show. Neat is a champion of the marginalized – Scottish Travelling People, Gaelic bards, salmon-netters, crofters, bee-keepers, horse breeders, Andalucian villagers, poets and artists.

Neat has worked closely with many leading Scottish figures – MacDiarmid, Sorley MacLean, Hamish Henderson, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Margaret Gardiner (Pier Arts Centre, Orkney) and the Fife singer Jean Redpath.

Also, Robert Burns and Charles Rennie Mackintosh!

Six of Neat’s films will be screened at The Belmont Picturehouse including:

Play me Something (1988), winner of the Europa Prize, Barcelona 1989. This 35mm feature film shot on the Isle of Barra and Venice, features John Berger, Tilda Swinton, Hamish Henderson and Liz Lochhead;

Journey to a Kingdom – Hamish Henderson returns to the North East of Scotland’ (1992).

(Hamish Henderson [1919-2002] was with the 51st Highland Division in North Africa and Italy and became a legendary figure amongst the Gordon Highlanders. This film originally made for Grampian Television documents Henderson’s work as a folklorist in the North East. Neat’s highly prasied two-volume biography of Henderson will be available after the film screening).

STAND SCOTLAND WHERE SHE DID? will be a major exhibition, featuring a new suite of screen-prints by Neat, published by Peacock Visual Arts, and original works by many of the major artists with whom he has collaborated over 50 years; years during which Scottish culture and politics have changed dramatically.

Guests attending the opening and closing events will have the opportunity to enjoy performances by some of Scotland’s best traditional musicians.

Alison McMorland and Geordie McIntyre will sing Hamish Henderson ballads and political songs at the opening on 27 September. On 9 November Elizabeth Stewart will sing some of the great ballads of the north east and Alastair Roberts, rising star of the modern folk scene in Scotland, will sing some of Neat’s own songs.

Peacock Visual Arts is proud to be able to present this Retrospective in Aberdeen, before various parts of the exhibition embark on an international tour, which may prove seminal during the year of the Scottish National Referendum.

To coincide with this Retrospective, Polygon (Edinburgh) has published a major book, ‘These Faces; photographs and drawings by Timothy Neat’, with an important introduction by John Berger.



28 September – 9 November 2013

Exhibition Opening:

Friday 27 September, 6 – 8pm
With performances by Alison McMorland and Geordie McIntyre.

Film Screenings:

Sunday 29 September, from 6pm:

‘Journey to a Kingdom’ (52mins)
‘The Tree of Liberty’ (73mins)

Sunday 13 October, from 6pm:

‘Time is a Country’ (52mins)
‘Hallaig’ (64mins)

Sunday 27 October, from 6pm:

‘Rathad nan Ceard’ (30mins)
‘Play me Something’ (72mins)

Exhibition Closing Gig:

Friday 8 November, 7pm
Performances by Elizabeth Stewart and Alastair Roberts.

  • Comments enabled – see comments box below. Note, all comments will be moderated.
Aug 012013

With thanks to Kirsty Young.

Artists in Print: 21 Years of Collaboration celebrates the wealth of prints made, in collaboration with numerous acclaimed artists over the last 21 years, by Peacock’s own master printmaker, Michael Waight.
Over 30 prints by prolific artists such as John Bellany, John Byrne, Ian McCulloch, Toby Paterson, Barbara Rae, Peter Randall-Page, Ralph Steadman, Frances Walker, Sylvia Wishart, Donald Urquhart, plus many more, will be shown together for the first time in this exciting exhibition.

Michael Waight has curated this show to give printmaking enthusiasts, fans of Peacock Visual Arts and the communities of Aberdeen a chance to see how he has spent the last twenty-one years in the Peacock workshop and in whose company.

The impressive list of artists included is by no means exhaustive – Mike having worked with over fifty artists on over three hundred editions and proofing projects.

To accompany the exhibition, Peacock Visual Arts will host a gallery tour and printmaking workshop, dates and details of which to be confirmed.

A gallery walk-around and informal talk with Michael will also be held at the gallery, to coincide with Impact 8 Conference (Dundee) and the Scottish Print Festival.

Michael Waight, Printmaker comments:

‘Putting this show together allows me and Peacock Visual Arts very publicly to acknowledge our thanks to every artist who has, and continues to, come our way. The artists are the brave and tolerant partners in these collaborations, entrusting ideas to us with faith and understanding that we can do justice to their vision.’


John Bellany

John Bellany has inspired a new pride in Scottish artists; a fact duly recognised when he received the CBE.

His paintings are in the collections of major museums and art galleries throughout the world, including the National Galleries of Scotland, The Tate Gallery, The Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Metropolitan Museum, New York.


Adam Bridgland

Adam Bridgland (b. 1979) lives and works in London. He graduated with a Masters in Fine Art at the Royal College of Art in 2006 and has since exhibited widely in the UK, Europe, Asia and America. The BritishMuseum, the V&A, UBS, Boeing Asia and Debbie Harry are just some of the collectors of Adam’s work.  Described as ‘your favourite leisure time artist’, Adam embraces the everyday object finding inspiration from the colouring book image, travel guidebooks, and scout camping paraphernalia. Kitsch and humorous, yet equally poignant, Adam’s work rejoices in the mundane and is an investigation of the notion that holiday-making is just another ordinary everyday activity and that the holiday is essentially a fantasy that rarely lives up to our expectations.


James Furneaux (1935 – 2013)

James Furneaux was born in Aberdeen on 7th June 1935. In 1965 he became a lecturer at AberdeenCollege, where he taught art and design for 23 years, before taking early retirement in 1988 to concentrate on his own art.Furneaux was most noted for painting Aberdeen’s lesser known buildings and landmarks from unusual perspectives, and this early training in architecture was often apparent in his depiction of the city’s buildings.


Ralph Steadman

Ralph Steadman was born on 15 May 1936 in Wallasey, Liverpool.

He is renowned for his political and social caricatures and cartoons
and for illustrating a number of picture books, for which he received several

His work is sought after all over the world.


Exhibition Runs: 3 August – 14 September 2013
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 9:30 – 5:30pm
Entry: Free to exhibition. Charges will apply to events and workshops.

Jun 212013

Peacock Visual Arts is proud once again to be the Scottish partner gallery of the Standpoint Futures Residency Programme.

This offers artists working in Scotland the chance to spend a structured period of four to six weeks living and working in London, where Standpoint Gallery, an artists run gallery and studio complex in Hoxton, will, as well as providing studio and living accommodation, coordinate a programme of introductions to critics, curators and other artists.

There is also the possibility of an exhibition at Standpoint and, after the residency, of working with Peacock Visual Arts to create further new work.

The residencies will run from October 2013 to April 2014. Artists receive a modest per diem & travel allowance.

Deadline for applications is Monday 1st July, then interviews will take place at Standpoint on Monday 22nd July.

Application fee: £15.00

The panel will select 5 artists – one from Scotland, one from Wales, two from England, and one early career artist, who may be based anywhere in the UK.

To download more information from our website click here.

Standpoint website.

Standpoint Futures 2012 tumblr.

May 022013

Peacock Visual Arts presents Colour Abstracts, a new solo exhibition of large-scale oil paintings and prints by Scottish artist J. Gordon Brown, inspired by the Granite City.

On 10 May 2013 Peacock Visual Arts will open its doors to reveal a new solo exhibition of dramatic large-scale oil paintings by J. Gordon Brown.

It will also include a new photo etching, created specially for this exhibition, in collaboration with Michael Waight in Peacock Visual Arts’ print workshop.

Winner of the first prize at the Aberdeen Artists Annual Exhibition 2012 for his painting, Night City Jazz, J. Gordon Brown offers an alternative, abstracted view of the city lights.

His paintings are grand and beautiful, portraying scenes of Aberdeen that may not be recognised at first. Using ambiguous photographs of the city at night as the starting point for the paintings he plays with the idea of abstraction, selecting and editing the images until an acceptable meaning or association attaches itself to the work.

As a special addition to Colour Abstracts, and in collaboration with Iain Gildea, Digital Manager at Peacock Visual Arts, Brown has entered into the world of the moving image. The film, along with the full collection of paintings and new prints, will be revealed at the opening, 6pm on Friday 10 May 2013.

Kirsty Young, Communications Manager at Peacock Visual Arts says:-

“J. Gordon Brown’s paintings are breathtaking – we are all desperate to see them in situ. We hope they will capture visitors’ imaginations as they have ours”.

Exhibition Runs: 11 May – 15 June 2013
Opening: Friday 10 May 2013, 6 – 8pm

Mar 282013

With thanks to Kirsty Young.

Creative Scotland, in partnership with Young Scot, Creative & Cultural Skills Scotland and Creative Skillset, is offering an exciting new package of Modern Apprenticeships within the arts and culture sector.

Aimed at 16-20 year olds, the young people taking part in the Modern Apprenticeships will study for vocational qualifications while gaining professional experience working for an arts organisation. (Apprenticeship Qualification offered: Diploma in Creative and Digital Media Competence.)

This position is shared between Peacock Visual Arts and Station House Media Unit.

At Peacock he or she would be encouraged to progress their learning by using the available equipment to gain hands-on experience by shooting, editing and producing films for both web and DVD. The experience would cover all aspects of digital media and, working with PVA’s Communications Manager, of web-based promotion.

At shmu there will be a programme of involvement in shmuTV (live youth TV project producing a weekly live show) shmuSOUND – recording studio, shmuFM and shmuDESIGN with the opportunity to get involved in the design of the community magazines (Creative Suite) and the development of new websites using Drupal.

The closing date for the receipt of applications is Friday 12 April 2013

Full information and application details are available on this link :

Sep 272012

Anyone who follows local news will know that Peacock Visual Arts has endured setbacks in recent years. This has not, however, blunted Peacock’s enthusiasm in promoting and encouraging participation in the visual arts. Here’s how…

It’s that time of year already – and here’s the invitation to submit your work for the Peacock Visual Arts Christmas Show.

After experimenting with other formats for a few years, and in response to public demand, we’re reverting to A4 in 2012.

This year we want to give more conceptual coherence to the exhibition than in the past, so we’ve also chosen a theme – Grotto.

Leaving aside its connotation as the seasonal home of dodgy old white-bearded men, the Grotto is probably the oldest form of human shelter. We hope you find something in your own exploration of Grotto that will trigger your imagination.

Deadline for entry: 31 October 2012
Exhibition: 17 November-22 December 2012
Opening: Friday 16 November from 1800-2000. Everyone is welcome.

Do put these dates in your diary. Our homemade mince pies are, rightly, legendary and as for the punch, what can we shay…?


Aug 172012

Old Susannah takes a look recent events in the ‘Deen, and tackles tricky terms with a locally topical taste. By Suzanne Kelly.

Tally Ho!  Once again future of our Union Terrace Gardens with its green field, 250-year-old elms, other trees, and wildlife is in the spotlight. The vote of the full council next week on 22 August will be significant to our getting our £140,000,000 granite web, which will fit in situ so naturally that we’ll think the Victorians built it in time.

Sadly, some anti-progress, anti-referendum, nimby tree-huggers are suggesting that the more suitable place for a public square is the St Nicholas site, and our only city centre park should be left as, well, a park. Three independent councillors will suggest an alternative to the web at the 22/8 meeting.

However, Sir Ian has much more money than they do, and will take his ball home if anyone suggests not doing the plan he wants.

We know he’ll give up as he’s said as much four or five times already (but failed to do so).  Sir Ian and Valerie Watts say without a web, we cannot be the City of Culture in 2017!  Well, that’s the argument for the web settled then.  What good are clean air, a healthy environment, heritage, common good land and existing culture when we can try to win an award?

Not surprisingly this issue of Aberdeen Voice will be filled with articles concerning our city’s future, and reasons to keep our common good land out of the hands of the usual suspects (Smith, Crosby, Milne, Wood of course, and the rest of the ACSEF acolytes).  Old Susannah is keen to redress the balance, and ensure that the selfless, apolitical philanthropists behind the £140,000,000 project get the consideration they deserve.

To that end, here are some relevant definitions.

Intellectual property: (modern English phrase) principle that the ownership of an original idea rests with the idea’s creators, and should be protected by law.

Peacock Visual Arts had come up with the original idea of building a new arts centre inside UTG; they were helped by Scottish Enterprise and ACSEF with their original scheme.  This help was kind of like the help that the Fox gave to Jemima Puddleduck.

Magically, the Peacock idea was hijacked (with Scottish Enterprise help) and transformed into the transformational 8th wonder of the world, The Granite Web.  After all their expense and groundwork, Peacock was left out in the cold, irrespective of their moral right to their intellectual property of putting a cultural venue in UTG.

Just as well this wasn’t going on in America; it would still be being fought in the courts now.

Thankfully, such hijackings of intellectual property concerning UTG are very rare, except for the most recent one.  Common Good Aberdeen, a group of people who simply want the gardens enhanced and protected from developers, recently came up with an original idea which they pitched to the City.

They proposed serving drinks and snacks from a temporary structure inside one of the disused central arches in UTG for a year. ALL profits, if the scheme survives a vote to be held today (17/08), are to be diverted to improving UTG.

Thus volunteers will take an unused space, encourage people to use the gardens, and generate money for the gardens’ improvement.  Obviously, we can’t have this kind of thing going on.

While some of the City’s administration and councillors are supporting this fresh, original scheme, other powers that be (one Mr Gordon McIntosh) has written a report saying that the Council must ensure that it gets ‘Value for Money’ for the disused arch if it is put to use.  Good man!  Mind the pennies, and the hundreds of millions of pounds will take care of themselves.

It is almost as if MacIntosh didn’t want the gardens used for social purposes

Gordon wants to take Common Good’s idea, clearly their intellectual property, and turn it into a commercial bidding exercise (which of course will cost the City money to put out to tender and evaluate incoming bids), and presumably charge whomever would want to rent the empty arch out.

If an organisation has to pay rent on the empty space, it is not that likely that they will plough 100% of their profits into fixing the gardens, which is what Common Good Aberdeen proposed.

It is almost as if MacIntosh didn’t want the gardens used for social purposes or for means to be found to generate UTG improvement funds at no cost to the City.  We have an empty space that is making no money, which volunteers want to use as a means of raising money to fix the gardens, while adding a social amenity to the area at no cost to the city.  If I were as clever as he, it would make sense I’m sure.

Much better that the City spend time and money on a bidding exercise to see if anyone wants to steal CGA’s idea for profit rather than any genuine philanthropy happening.  So, if after we spend taxpayer money on a bid to run a small café, some private company comes along to do so, then it’s profit to them and not the gardens.  Result!

That’s the kind of thinking that got us the city administration we’ve been enjoying these past several years.  If any of the councillors who have a chance to vote on the CGA proposal today are reading this column, I am sure they will do the right thing.

Let’s look at this principle Gordon wants to nobly uphold of ensuring Aberdeen City gets ‘Value for Money’.  Since we’ve seen that we can’t let people use a tiny arch for one year to sell snacks for generating improvement funds for the gardens without proper scrutiny, no doubt this important principle would have to apply to any and all schemes, great and small….

Value for Money:  (mod. English phrase) phrase used in public administration to describe the principle of ensuring that any services or products being sourced by government are obtained by the best qualified suppliers at the lowest possible prices.  European Law also dictates that any public services or goods contracts of substantial value be awarded by fair, open tender processes. 

They might even be expected to give the city a performance bond or guarantee

Let’s imagine just for one moment that a big city, somewhere has a park filled with trees, wildlife, and open spaces for people to enjoy.

Such a space might even be owned by the people outright.

Let’s imagine one step further that after years of mismanagement this hypothetical city wants to make a quick buck or two, and decides to develop this park, despite environmental concerns and public outcry.

The city in question would be expected tofirst write up a tender document, describing what it would want a management company to deliver in the gardens in question.  The tender document would describe in detail exactly what structures were to be created, what activities would take place, what everything would cost, and exactly what the management company’s role would be.

Advertisements asking for bidders with sufficient experience would be placed around the world, and the companies with sufficient experience of project management and venue operations would compete in a tender exercise.  If any would-be management companies had existing personal and business ties with any of the city’s officials or entities (maybe like ACSEF), these would have to be declared and scrutinised:  no one with power over the decision-making process would be permitted to be involved in evaluating tenders or giving work out.

Each bid would be evaluated by the city – without the name of the individual bidders being known – based on the company’s experience, financial health, submitted detailed operation and building budgets and so on.  A shortlist of the best companies would then be evaluated, and the best ‘Value for Money’ bidder would be awarded a contract.

They successful bidder might even be expected to give the city a performance bond or guarantee, and a parent company guarantee to ensure they would not simply disappear or sell the contract on to a third party.

Strict performance benchmarks would be drawn up, and the winning bidder would only be paid for each phase of the detailed project as they successfully delivered it.

Crucially, the entire process would be available for public scrutiny after the sensitive pricing and tendering exercise was completed – before any final contracts were signed.

OR, if the city was Aberdeen….

Members of various interlinked public and/or private entities such as ACSEF would talk to their pals, find out how to make money out of the public’s common good land, ‘transform’ an idea from an arts group into a money-spinner for friends in the construction and development sectors, and use their public and private muscle to get the city leaders to bend to their will.

Some of their number would set up a small private, limited ‘charity’ company, perhaps calling it Aberdeen City Gardens Trust.  This company would automatically be appointed by the city to run the multimillion pound construction scheme without any ‘value for money’ tendering exercise, scrutiny or competition.

Audit Scotland might wonder which companies were paid to carry out the expensive PR / advertising jobs

The newly formed Trust would actively influence decisions such as whether to build theatres next to theatres (Brilliant!),  chop down ancient trees and remove habit for protected EU species which live in said park and promise to plant fir trees (which can’t thrive in a city centre – even more brilliant!).

In the process taxpayer money would be spent to convince the city that building an unspecific project based on a few illogical, unworkable architectural flights of fancy was worth the taxpayer borrowing £90,000,000.

The project would be pushed ahead with this Trust at the head of delivering services, without a project scope defined, without a time frame for construction, and crucially without a budget open to public scrutiny.

It is a very good thing that the EU will never want to look into the manner in which the Granite Web is being foisted on the population or what procurement rules may be being ever so slightly bent.

Similarly, Audit Scotland would never decide to look at precisely how ACSEF and Scottish Enterprise ordered tens of thousands of pounds worth of PR, advertising, and ’stakeholder’ events’, then had the Chamber of Commerce submit invoices to the City Council to pay with public funds.

Audit Scotland will not wonder which companies were paid to carry out the expensive PR / advertising jobs – and why these companies did not get named on the Chamber of Commerce invoices, which cover several years. If that happened, then the elected councillors might start to question whether the entire proceedings were valid, examine the role of ACSEF and its members, and whether the EU, UK or Scottish regulatory agencies would come around asking questions.

Other firms with relevant project delivery experience might get slightly cross at the absence of a tender exercise for such a aluable public project; some of these companies might even know as much about multimillion pound schemes and public amenities as Tom Smith does.   It could all get just a little awkward, sticky, embarrassing and litigious.

I’d best keep these potential problems to myself.  I would hate it if any councillor having doubts about the project were to worry unduly about supporting the web on my account.

Final: (Eng adjective) The last of something; the end of something.

Old Susannah is so old that she went to The Who’s ‘farewell’ concert at Shea Stadium, NY, with the Clash as opening act (was it 1981?  Wish I could see The Clash again especially). The Who played, said it was their final tour, and that was that.  Since then, The Who have had about 57 other final tours.

ACGT were given custody of the ballot papers, even though the taxpayer had paid for the vote.

Sir Ian seems to be a fan of finality as well.  Those of us with memories longer than a goldfish’s will remember the first ‘consultation’ – you know, the one in which the voters rejected the garden scheme.  Sir Ian was going to go walk away then if the concept failed to win the public’s hearts and minds.

Well, we did say ‘no’ but as is often the case, ‘no’ must have really meant ‘yes’.  The official line was that those who were against the scheme simply didn’t understand it.  Fair enough.  So Ian didn’t say ‘farewell’ after all, and resurrected the scheme.

The public were going to be given a chance to vote against developing the gardens when the shortlisted 6 were on view.  This option was what councillors on some of the ‘City Garden Project’ committees had asked for.  However, in the end Gerry Brough is quoted in meeting minutes as saying this was not after all ‘appropriate’ during the design show after all.

People most definitely used the exhibition to write on the ballot papers they wanted no part of destroying UTG, which was very naughty of them indeed.

Thankfully, to avoid any embarrassment for Sir Ian, Tom Smith and Colin Crosby of ACGT were given custody of the ballot papers, even though the taxpayer had paid for the vote.

Campaign groups demanded sight of the papers; but brave ACGT held fast.  We will never know for certain what the real public vote was during the shortlist as to scrapping the scheme or not.  We do know however that the giant glass worm, the public’s choice, was turned down by Wood.

When things started looking bad for the scheme yet again, Wood churned out press releases saying he would draw a final line under the project, and walk away and give his £50,000,000 to the third world instead.

When the three independent councillors said they were working on an alternative idea, Wood said he would not compromise.  And that is his final word.  Well, for this week anyway.

Word arrives that early next week Sir Ian will AGAIN meet with individual councillors to make his ‘final’ plea.  Old Susannah is starting to get deja vu.  I do wonder though why Sir Ian gets to make continued visits to the councillors, sit in the ‘press’ box when he attends council meetings and so on.  Anyone would think he were rich or something.  Thankfully this is a democracy.  Word also reaches me that these continuous pleas from Sir Ian are beginning to grate on more than a few councillors’ patience.

What Woody will do if the vote goes against the scheme will be, of course, to make a final farewell, take his money and spend it in Africa….

And if you believe that….

Next week:  a look at who voted how, what’s next, and if common sense and Common Good Aberdeen prevail, lots of Champagne and lots of BrewDog.

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