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River Don artist-in-residence invites people to help develop a public art plan


An exciting public art project has been launched, involving communities along the banks of the River Don.

Public Art Aberdeen, in partnership with Sustainable Urban Fringes (SURF) Aberdeen, are pleased to announce the commissioning of Nottingham-based visual artist Irene Rogan to work with them in developing a Public Art Plan for the River Don corridor.

The project will throw the spotlight on the riverside and nearby public open spaces, by collaborating with local communities to create temporary public artworks. Events planned so far include:

Monday 11 February – Sunday 17 February 2013
(Mon-Fri 9am-4pm, Sat-Sun 1pm-4pm)
Natural History Centre
University of Aberdeen, Zoology Building
Tillydrone Ave, AB24 2TZ

Visitors will have a chance to see sculptural work produced by pupils from Riverbank, Seaton and Woodside Primary Schools inspired by micro-organisms found in the River Don and guided by Irene Rogan and local artist Debbi Beeson. The exhibition will also feature an installation by Irene based on items from the Natural History Centre collection, and an audio work by composer Ross Whyte.

'Garden of Earthly Delights'
Tuesday 12 February – Sunday 17 Feb 2013
(Tue-Fri 11am-4pm, Sat-Sun 9am-4.30pm)
Cruickshank Botanic Garden
University of Aberdeen
St Machar Drive, AB24 3UU

In 'Garden of Earthly Delights', visitors will be presented with the opportunity to collaborate with Irene on a continuously evolving outdoor installation in the Cruickshank Botanic Garden. The artist will be on site from 11am to 4pm from Tuesday 12 February to Friday 15 February and is asking the public to bring along artificial plants and flowers to add to a large-scale, colourful artwork she will be creating. In exchange, visitors will receive some mystery seeds which they can plant at home. The exciting transformation of the garden will also feature an audio composition created by Ross Whyte in response to his experience of the Don.

Both events offer a valuable opportunity for the public to share their views, thoughts and experiences of the River Don, and to participate in the creation of a public art plan which will help influence the commissioning and creation of future public art along the Don and its surroundings.

This is Public Art Aberdeen's latest Community Commission, supporting and promoting the role of public art in Aberdeen. Public art at its best enables communities to participate in positive transformation, changing how people feel about living in or visiting a place and most importantly acting as a tool for genuine community engagement.

The commission and and the development of the website at recognise the important role Aberdeen City Council sees for art and culture in developing Aberdeen into a vibrant, creative and ambitious city.

Irene Rogan said: "I am thrilled to be working here towards developing a future plan with River Don corridor communities. I've discovered there's a real depth of passionate interest in all things Don from local residents and kayakers, to poets, photographers, composers and scientists. It is a greatly cared for special, natural resource, a wildlife super-highway – and it's available to all."

Thanks go to Mark Paterson (curator, Cruickshank Botanic Garden, University of Aberdeen) and Marie Fish (Natural History Centre manager, University of Aberdeen) and their teams for their support with the above events.