North East Skills Biennale
Tue 2 September 2014
A collaboration between five major arts organisations in the North East of Scotland
Five major arts organisations based in Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City (Scottish Sculpture Workshop, Sound Festival, Deveron Arts, Woodend Barn and Gray's School of Art) are collaborating to deliver Skills Biennale 2014. The theme will be Food And Sustainability creating the platform for five collaborations between artists and local food practices (small businesses, artisans, community groups and food banks).
Each organisation will curate a Slow Prototype (SP) bringing together internationally renowned contemporary artists with crafts/trades people in residencies of up to 4 weeks in August / September 2014. Each SP is about different sets of skills coming together on equal terms and mutually affecting each other, generating something unexpected, unfolding through each collaboration.
The North East of Scotland has a reputation as Scotland's larder (fishing, Aberdeen Angus, traditional products such as shortbread and whisky...) but there is not a reputation for eating well in the North East. The five invited artists will spend time engaging with local food organisations and the local community. The creativity of artists and their curiosity will question the paradox of a less than ideal diet in a place of amazing produce.
A broad view will be taken of food production and consumption: ranging from artisanal food, to leftovers and food banks; surplus as well as scarcity will be considered. We will look both at Aberdeen's inner city (where there are large areas of deprivation) and at rural Aberdeenshire, traditionally a farming community. We want to know the reality of food production and consumption in these places and engage in conversation with the public at large.
The artists and food projects will be selected by each arts organisation:
- Gray's School of Art: Celia Gonzalez and Community Food Initiatives North East looking at food security;
- Sound festival: Stephen Montague composer and Brewdog, looking at the sounds of a brewery;
- Deveron Arts: Gayle Chong Kwan looking at issues of waste with Deans Shortbread;
- Scottish Sculpture Workshop (located in an old bakery): Stephen Brandes and a local mill producing oatmeal;
- Woodend Barn: Tom Pritchard choreographer and an artisan cheese monger, looking specifically at the senses.
The project will culminate in the form of a 2-day Skills Biennale on the 6th September 2014, taking visitors on a coach tour of the collaborations: the results of Slow Prototype projects (performances and exhibitions) will show the breadth and quality of work that is created in Aberdeenshire. A one-day bus tour is available to tour around the five projects, allowing audiences to see all five Slow Prototypes.
Coach departs Grays School of Art, Aberdeen at 9.30am and will visit Aberdeen Foodbank - Banchory / Cambus O'May - Lumsden / Alford - Huntly - Ellon. Returning to Aberdeen approx 8pm
Biennale Tour - £15 / £10 conc. (full time students, u/waged, o/60s) includes light refreshments throughout the day.
You can see the results so far of the collaboration between Gayle Chong Kwan and Deans Shortbread in the Stewarts Hall, Huntly between 1.30pm and 5pm, on Saturday 6th September.
For more information on Gayle's project.