Aberdeen Art Gallery’s new ‘Shop at the Top’ champions local creatives

Local designers, makers and artists are being given a prominent platform in Aberdeen Art Gallery’s new ‘Shop at the Top’ retail space.

Situated on the stunning new upper floor, Shop at the Top is the latest addition to the Art Gallery experience, promoting and supporting the work of artists, designers and makers living and working in AB postcode areas.

Operating with an ethos of ‘pay it forward’, the shop will feature 3-4 makers at a time, on a three-month rotation, who will each then nominate a maker for the next slot.

Art Gallery staff – many of whom are art school graduates and maintain a creative practice themselves - were asked to make suggestions for the launch period, which features:Helen Ruth ScarvesHelen Greensmith is the talent behind Helen Ruth Scarves, a luxury accessories label specialising in digitally-printed silk and wool scarves. Helen’s designs are inspired by the wild Scottish landscape and animal life, as well as fairytales and traditional folklore. Each scarf tells its own story and starts with an original pen and ink illustration.

Dolly Dimple DesignRose Nicoll is a jewellery designer who creates eye-catching designs from her home studio in Aberdeen. Her colourful laser-cut acrylic pieces are inspired by Rose’s 1950s pin-up style as well as nature and history.

HackleyRachel Robertson runs her luxury bag and accessories business from Deemouth Artists Studios in Torry. Her sleek and functional designs are meticulously handcrafted, combining striking colours with tactile materials in a range that is bold and unique.

William Reid StudioWilliam Reid’s art is influenced by form, colour, light, surface and pattern in landscape and nature. These recent works are inspired by the North-East coastline and were made at home during lockdown, when access to his studio was restricted, causing him to work on a smaller scale.

Alison Thyra CeramicsAlison Thyra Grubb makes iridescent ceramic jewellery and homewares in her studio in Aberdeenshire. Using both traditional techniques such as slip casting, and digital technologies such as 3-D printing, she makes captivating geometric designs which cast their own rainbow reflections and are almost magical to behold.

Councillor Mairie Boulton, Aberdeen City Council’s culture spokesperson, said: “Aberdeen Art Gallery will play a number of important roles in Aberdeen City Council’s Covid-19 recovery plan. As well as being home to an inspiring art collection, it is also an important social space where we can safely meet friends and family.

“The addition of Shop at the Top is a welcome new addition to the visitor experience, and demonstrates our commitment to supporting local artists, designers and makers, bringing them to the attention of local people and visitors to the city.”

Susy Bell, the Gallery’s Retail Manager, said: “Online shopping was fine during lockdown, but there’s no substitute for being able to make a purchase in person, especially when you’re buying creative work such as paintings, ceramics, jewellery and accessories hand-crafted by independent artists, designers and makers.

“By tapping into the makers’ own networks and asking them to recommend a maker whose work they admire for a future slot, we’ll have a constantly-evolving range of meticulously-crafted products from a diverse range of local creatives, at a range of price points.”

Aberdeen Art Gallery, Schoolhill, Aberdeen, AB10 1FQ

Opening hoursMonday 10am-5pmTuesday closedWednesday – Saturday 10am – 5pmSunday 10am-4pm

Admission free

For visiting information go to www.aagm.co.uk