Peacock Visual Arts
From its origins as a printmaking studio in 1974, over the years Peacock has developed into a vibrant centre offering open access workshops for printmaking, photography and digital media and hosting many exhibitions each year. Peacock is now the main Centre for Contemporary Art in Aberdeen and the North-east of Scotland.
Our master printmakers have worked with many renowned Scottish, UK and international artists over the past decades, always aiming for the highest quality and innovative outcomes. These fine art, limited edition prints are on display both in our shop and online on our Flickr website and online shop:
Peacock visual arts also organises an annual programme of national and international contemporary art exhibitions in its galleries, often accompanied by talks, film screenings and workshops.
Check our main website for the latest news and events:
Gallery, Artist studio or collective
Free access to the Gallery
Modest charges for the use of our printmaking facilities
Main gallery: changing exhibitions of (inter)national contemporary art. Shop gallery: changing exhibitions of prints, drawings, paintings and photography of local, national and international artists.
Design, Film and Media, Fine Art, Photography
Key artists and exhibits
- Local, national and international artists. Original prints available by artists including Ralph Steadman, Barbara Rae, Michael Visocchi, David Blyth, Alan Johnston, Ragna Róbertsdóttir, Seán Shanahan, Alan Shipway, Colin Kirkpatrick, Rosalind Nashashibi, David Bellingham, Kenny Hunter and many others.
Peacock Visual Arts launches new contemporary art space ‘The W OR M’ with ‘The Gift’, an exhibition by Raydale Dower
- 11 August — 2 September 2017 *on now
The W OR M
Peacock Visual Arts is launching ‘The W OR M’, a new space for discussion, deliberation and action from the ground up. The programme will engage – in artistic, social, economic and environmental terms with the city of Aberdeen and its possible futures, holding a space for the political without pre-empting the answers or the alliances that might emerge. The programme will consist of exhibitions, talks, screenings, workshops and events bringing together artists, academics, businesses, community groups and citizens.
Peacock Visual Arts awarded Creative Scotland Open Project Funding
Funding from Creative Scotland has allowed Peacock Visual Arts to relocate the delivery of its artistic programme to a renovated, former shop unit in Aberdeen’s historic Castlegate. Peacock has commissioned Aberdeen-born, Glasgow-based artist Raydale Dower who initiated Le Drapeau Noir, now the Old Hairdressers (Glasgow), to design and transform the space into its new project room, The W OR M.
Located less than 100m from our printmaking and digital workshops, The W OR M will provide renewed public visibility with a positive impact on the city and Peacock Visual Arts, helping to activate Aberdeen’s former market square as a social space now dedicated to discussion, the exchange of ideas, radical action and creative practice.
The Gift by Raydale Dower
12 August – 2 September 2017, 10am – 5pm
Preview: 11 August 2017, 6-8pm. All Welcome.
The Gift, by artist Raydale Dower will be the inaugural exhibition to mark the launch of The W OR M and presents new work including a recreation of Man Ray’s Cadeau (1921), a diptych of large scale silkscreen prints, presenting two views of the ‘found object’, a city wide print campaign and a series of permanent interventions for The W OR M.
In the lead up to and during the exhibition, a print edition by Dower will be distributed across the city. These numbered silkscreen prints, displayed as ‘posters’ in various locations including cafés, shops and small businesses, will function as a whispering campaign or un-marketing strategy permeating the city. In addition to the informal locations, a series of civic and commercial organisations, with cultural and personal resonance to Dower, have been invited to host one of eight sets of framed prints: Aberdeen Quaker Meeting House, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Pittodrie Football stadium, Police Scotland’s North East Divisional Headquarters, Bridge of Don Academy Art Department, Cadona’s Amusement Park, the Philosophy Department at University of Aberdeen and The Blue Lamp public house. Each diptych set is framed in reclaimed church pews, sourced during the renovation of The W OR M.
The gesture of giving the work away is matched in significance with the reciprocal act of hosting the work, in return the host may choose to keep, return or pass on the work. The distribution of free to collect prints across the city underlines Peacock’s cultural heritage and provides opportunities for chance encounters outwith the gallery, encouraging multiple readings of the work and an exploration of cultural exchange.
The Gift – two views of the same object is inspired by Man Ray’s surrealist object of the same title Cadeau (Fr. gift). Dower has recreated the iconic artwork with everyday objects, an old flat iron and carpet tacks, found in his parent’s house in Aberdeen and produced an edition of silkscreen prints that present the found object from two alternate views:
My mother was given an old iron by an old family friend when she was 6 years old. For as long as I can remember this iron lived on the floor of the guest room.
One day looking at it closely, I realised it was very similar to the iron used by the artist Man Ray for his surrealist object ‘The Gift’.
Seeing the old iron in a new light, and with fresh eyes, I placed it on the mantle piece of the guest room where, in my mind, it had become an art object. The next time I visited my parents the iron was back on the floor.
Raydale Dower, 2017
- Any age
Peacock Visual Arts
11 Castle Street
Ignore the Management // Michele Horrigan and Sean Lynch
- 8 September — 21 October 2017
Peacock Visual Arts present Ignore the Management, an exhibition by Michele Horrigan and Sean Lynch. For some years now, through both artistic and curatorial activities, Horrigan and Lynch have investigated the multifaceted nature of the public realm. With a focus on their native Ireland, their activities find and develop models that challenge the societal measures and institutional values that aim to manage and orient human behaviour in our increasingly technocratic world.
Sean Lynch presents two videos at the W OR M project space in Aberdeen’s historic Castlegate. Latoon focuses on an unusual story of a whitethorn bush close to Lynch’s studio in Limerick. In 1999, folklorist Eddie Lenihan campaigned to have a multi million-euro roadway redirected in order to save the bush, which he had argued was an important meeting place for fairies – the bush’s destruction would lead to supernatural havoc on the new motorway. Years later, Lynch interviewed Lenihan at the site about the dangers of fairy culture, the incessant march of progress and the hope that the bush will somehow survive this onslaught.
Also on exhibit is Campaign to Change the National Monuments Acts, a video that investigates the legal status of metal detectors in Ireland. Following national controversy around the finding of the Derrynaflan Hoard, a medieval treasure trove uncovered in the 1980s, the state hastily placed a blanket ban on the public use of all devices used to search for archaeological objects – this legislation effectively destroyed any fledgling metal detectorist community. Lynch advocates for a change in these authoritarian laws, where ideas of nationhood, individual freedom, and the need for new forms of community-led heritage are explored in a journey narrated by his long-time collaborator Gina Moxley.
For several years, Michele Horrigan has been following an exploratory trail of investigation around the mineral ore bauxite. Imported from Guinea in Africa into Ireland’s largest industrial complex in Horrigan’s hometown of Askeaton, bauxite is then refined and smelted to become aluminium, the world’s most versatile metal used in computer parts and engines, drink cans and airplanes. Amongst her collection of archival and photographic material relating to this process, Horrigan presents two disparate gestures, an aluminium sculpture and a dance performance, each further questioning the role of the personal in relationship to the pervasiveness of global manufacturing. Working at the Scottish Sculpture Workshop in Aberdeenshire, Horrigan made an aluminium replica of the apex of the Washington Memorial, remembering the shape given to the Masonic all-seeing eye of imperialism made from what was the world’s most precious metal in 1884. Then, in a field close to a refinery with chimney stacks divulging a steady stream of smoke, Horrigan is seen glibly re-enacting dance scenes from the 1983 movie Flashdance, where a heroine works in Pittsburgh’s mills while at night pursues her real dream of dancing. Here, the title of Horrigan’s artwork, Stigma Damages seems pertinent. Used as a legal term to describe possible loss or suspected contamination due to environmental circumstance, both her actions seem to exist as a consequence or personal reaction to the rest of material on show, as a sensibility borne out of the disaffection of the individual against global flow and capital.
Sean Lynch and Michele Horrigan have exhibited throughout Europe and North America, including the Venice Biennale. Since 2006 they have organised Askeaton Contemporary Arts in southwest Ireland, initiating artist residencies, exhibitions and publications with over one hundred artists from around the world. During their time in Aberdeen, they will present several workshops as part of Free Press, a new publication project curated by Peacock Visual Arts, in partnership with Station House Media Unit and Aberdeen University Library Special Collections.
- Any age
Peacock Visual Arts
the W OR M
11 Castle Street
Peacock Visual Arts
21 Castle Street