By Fin Hall.
Nuart Aberdeen has finally arrived. A first for the city, sees a collection of street artists, organised by Aberdeen Inspired gather to paint, talk and show films etc over the Easter
Old and rarely used doors on the streets within the city centre, mainly around the Merchant Quarter, are being painted in different styles by different artists.
Among the artists participating in this current international project is Julien de Casabianca, a French/Corsican artist.
His Outgoing project features images of paintings in art galleries, often taken by members of the public on their phones, the main subject from said painting isolated via photoshop, then printed onto paper.
This paper is then pasted on buildings, walls etc in public spaces.
To this end various primary schools were invited to send a group of children to Aberdeen Museum Treasure Hub in Northfield, a building which stores many of the works of art that have been relocated from the Art Gallery during the refurbishment that is currently ongoing.
I was in invited by Aberdeen Inspired and NuArt to catalogue this process, working with Manor Park, Riverbank and Walker Road schools.
On arrival, the children were told what the general purpose of their visit would entail, before being split into two or three groups. I would stick with one of the groups each time. This took place on three Thursdays in March.
In the first part of their session, the children would be in an almost classroom like situation where they were given practically free rein to express themselves art wise.
They had a large wall mounted monitor complete with a white screen where they could copy images from the Art Gallery’s digital representation of the art works in it’s collection, or just draw whatever they wished; there were props and dressing up clothes so they could utilise and get their friends to take photos of themselves, or take selfies, with their iPads.
Also, there were word searches and sheets of A4 paper which had a pre-printed frame on, so they could draw whatever took their fancy. It was interesting to watch and see how they reacted and the choice they made. Some would throw themselves wholeheartedly into it, others just sat quietly and concentrated on drawing.
After about 45 minutes, the group I was with were taken through into the first of two storage rooms, with their iPads, to view and photograph the paintings, or rather, parts of paintings, be it a figure, an animal or something like a tree.
the youngsters had ever seen such paintings, and they were quite amazed
This room contained paintings of various sizes and from various eras, stored in racks which slid out when pulled. These works of art were paintings done on either canvas or or other fabrics, but not paper.
Some of the works they weren’t able to capture because they are still under copyright, or were covered in protective tape and plastic, but many others were available.
This was the first time that many of and interested in them. I had to explain to them that they should concentrate on just part of a painting, and not fill their screen with the whole thing, some of which, as you can imagine were rather large.
After that they were led into a smaller room where paintings and drawings done on paper, were stored in drawers. Some of these drawers were already pulled out and at just the right height for the children to stand over, making sure that their device covers were either removed or held securely up, and snap until their hearts’ content.
The net result is that selected photographs the children have taken will be chosen to be the ones used by Julian to paste up in the East Green – an area other artists will be utilising, and where the official opening ceremony on Saturday 15th April will take place.
This part of he city already has several doors from the Painted Doors project already in situ. So it is the perfect location for the hub of the event.
Saying that, there will be several events taking place in the few days leading up to that. See the NuArt website for details.
All in all it was a pleasure to be involved with the schoolchildren.
The Treasure Hub is available for group and organisation tours. It is well worth visiting. So, this coming week get out and about in the city centre and see this unique event.
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