Artist to unveil work addressing Aberdeen food banks

A Cuban artist who teamed up with a community food initiative in Aberdeen as part of a project to investigate the region’s reputation as Scotland’s larder will unveil her work this weekend.

Curated by Gray’s School of Art, and forming one part of a bigger ‘Skills Biennale’ involving other north-east arts and food organisations, the collaboration saw Celia González work alongside Community Food Initiatives North East (CFINE) to investigate the issue of food security.

Celia will unveil her work alongside the other artists taking part in the event on Saturday, September 6, who have worked alongside Cambus o’ May Cheese and Woodend Barn in Banchory; Deans Shortbread and Deveron Arts in Huntly; Brewdog and Sound Festival in Ellon; and oat miller Ritchie Duncan and the Scottish Sculpture Workshop in Lumsden.

A special bus tour of all five strands will leave from Gray’s School of Art at 9.30am, taking visitors to Aberdeen, Banchory, Lumsden, Huntly and Ellon, before returning to the city at 8pm, for £15 or £10 concession. Light refreshments will be provided during the day and tickets are available from Woodend Barn.

Celia spent time with the team at CFINE, which currently operates around 65 community food outlets in Aberdeen, and used data from the organisation to produce work highlighting the issue of food poverty in the area.

Allan Watson, Head of Fine Art at Gray’s School of Art, has led the School’s involvement in the project.

He said: “The north-east has a reputation as Scotland’s larder, with the production of high quality seafood and Aberdeen Angus beef sitting alongside traditional items such as shortbread and whisky.

“However, that reputation of producing quality food doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone in the area is eating or has access to a high quality diet – this project looks to explore and spark discussion regarding the reality of the situation in the north-east.”

Celia said: “With my work, I intend to highlight information from specific contexts without judging it. I have worked with information collected by CFINE over the last year to try to give visibility and compare it with other data from Aberdeen.”

Fiona Rae, CFINE’s Depute CEO, said: “While the north-east is prosperous, there are still significant levels of poverty and being poor in a context of such affluence reinforces your poverty, impacting adversely on self-esteem.

“This project is a wonderful opportunity to highlight this and raise awareness and support for the much needed services and support CFINE provides to disadvantaged and vulnerable individuals, families and communities in the north-east.”

The project has been funded by Aberdeen City Council as part of its Vibrant Aberdeen initiative, as well as Creative Scotland.

Book tickets for the event on Saturday, September 6

Release by
Jenny Rush

Communications Officer | Design and Technology

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