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Compass stones take a seat in the right direction
A community arts project which saw the creation of four new benches carved as Celtic compass stones have been unveiled in Northfield.
The compass stones, created by Northfield school pupils, Aberdeen City Council's Arts development team, with help from adult volunteers and stone carver Keith Mellard, now occupy open space near Northfield Swimming Pool.
The project was borne of an idea put forward by members of the Northfield community to capitalise on the panoramic views to be seen from the green space behind the academy and the swimming pool.
The site, a filled-in quarry, remained barren of trees until Aberdeen Greenspace Trust carried out some planting to encourage more biodiversity in the area, has become increasingly popular with locals and dog walkers
Aberdeen City Council's community arts team joined forces with Northfield Academy, stone carver Keith Mellard, and adult volunteers to create the striking piece of public art, which features carved designs based on Celtic images of salmon, sea eagles, and wild boar.
The Clashach sandstone used to make the benches was sourced from a quarry near Elgin, and, working in the indoor yard of Grampian Scaffolding, the group carefully designed and carved each compass stone.
The project continued when artist Mary Bourne and Bramblebrae School pupils, alongside the Arts Development team, created line drawings of Aberdeen and North-east landmarks. The pictures were incorporated into an interpretation panel, known as a toposcope, which has been etched in stainless steel and will form the centrepiece for the four benches, which face north, south, east and west.
Community arts officer Lindsay Dawson said: "This public art work will be a lasting legacy for the communities of Northfield and Cummings Park and, along with further planting, is set to make a real feature of this urban green space.
"We'd like to say a huge thank you to every individual and local business who has contributed to this work over the last few years. It is great to see it completed."
Aberdeen Greenspace Trust chief officer Alister Clunas added: "These compass stones really are works of art which give a fantastic view over Aberdeen and really sets off the green space. It looks very simple but really is very effective.
"We are delighted to have been involved with this project."
The Communities Initiative Fund and Aberdeen Greenspace Trust provided funding for the project.