VictoriARTISTS Announced

Local artists have been recruited to help breathe new life into an Aberdeen street.

Three local artists have been selected to work with a group of Torry residents to regenerate Victoria Road using street art. The VictoriArt Road project was inspired by the hugely successful Nuart Festival and aims to brighten up Victoria Road and spark people’s curiosity in the local area by installing art and other creative pieces.

This summer the Victoriart Road Collective, made up of eight Torry residents, invited artists from the North East of Scotland to submit proposals and examples of their work. Twelve proposals were received and six artists were invited to come and discuss their work with the group.

Three artists have been commissioned to take part in the project which is funded by Awards for All Scotland.

Justin Lawrie (aka Honk) is no stranger to Torry as his parents both worked in the area. His current work revolves round a bearded character but a new character will be created specifically for VictoriArt Road.

Stuart Allan has an impressive portfolio of community projects under his belt having participated in Aberdeen Inspired’s Painted Doors and Friends of Anchor’s 20for20 anchor project. Most recently Stuart completed a giant mural at craft beer giant Brewdog’s Ohio brewery. Stuart plans to create a large, eye catching piece to try and capture the ‘essence’ of Torry using its landmarks and heritage as inspiration. He feels the project is a great idea and will bring life and colour to the streets of Torry and hopes his piece will be something everyone can relate to.

The artist Ugly People, has also taken part in the Painted Doors and the 20for20 projects. He aims to create an art trail the length of Victoria Road and encourage community participation by creating stickers for folk to take away and place in other areas. He believes the VictoriArt Road project will create a much needed buzz and splash of colour and hopes it will encourage folk to look outside the city centre.

Aberdeen City Council’s Communities, Housing and Infrastructure convener Councillor Yvonne Allan said: “This is a truly fantastic project. I know that we have a great group of people involved who are genuinely passionate about raising the profile of Torry and creating a lasting legacy for the area.

“The calibre of the artists involved with this project is extremely impressive. Victoria Road is currently a blank canvas and I look forward to seeing what each of the artists creates.”

Due to the standard of proposals received the Collective have found alternative ways to include the other artists that shortlisted including a pop-up museum by Kevin Andrew Morris.

Karen Cardno, Volunteer Development Worker for the VictoriArt Road Collective said: “We wanted to recruit people who were invested in the project and genuinely passionate about encouraging civic engagement and creating a lasting movement in Torry. Meeting the artists was a great way of getting to know them and gain a better understanding of what their vision was for VictoriArt Road.

“This is such a great project to be involved in. It has brought a wide-range of people together and it is amazing to see how the group is growing in confidence. The fun and laughs we have is infectious and we want to take that positivity out onto the streets.”

A series of workshops run by the Critical and Alternative Methods and Ideas Network for Action (CAMINA), Fresh Paint and the Throw Up Gallery will also be held to build relationships between the artists, the collective and representatives from the wider Torry community.

There are opportunities to join the VictoriArt Road Collective and get involved and people can contact victoriartroad@gmail.com for further information.