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Unreal Estate : April 28th – May 2nd 2016

Aberdeen Unreal-Estate is a creative project created by Gabrielle Reith that focuses on the city’s stunning, yet often overlooked ‘Granite Mile’: Union Street. Aberdeen’s historical central arterial route was constructed in the 19th century by consulting surveyor Charles Abercrombie, whilst the largely Neo-Classical buildings that flanked designed by architects, Archibald Simpson and John Smith who collectively are credited for shaping Aberdeen’s distinctive character. The street remains today one of the city’s defining features.

Aligning with 2016’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design and Look Again Visual Art & Design Festival, this project aims to engender civic pride for the city of Aberdeen by drawing attention to its granite heritage, the architecture of the past and the skills of our master masons in a celebratory way.

In Aberdeen, “real estate” has become unreal for many people, including the creative community. The buoyant housing market has priced many people out of affordable homes and premises; Unreal-Estate aims to investigate this issue by inviting creative responses from artists and members of the public. Unreal-Estate will temporarily take over a disused shop space through which it will operate and present all project activity. With an on-street location and a shop front setting the shop is an attractive space for artists to engage with and a non-intimidating environment to invite members of the public.

Unreal Estate Aberdeen – Elements

Gabrielle Reith has asked 10 artists, 1 writer, 1 musician, 1 photographer, 1 designer & 3 schools to create a range of interpretations & responses to Union Street. 10 buildings have been selected by Gabrielle & the Aberdeen Archives for their architectural and historical merits in order to garner artists’ responses. These buildings (and others) have been photographed by Aberdeen Photographer, John Rutherford.

The three Schools (Seaton Primary, Woodside Primary & Holy Family RC School have their P3’s exploring Union Street with special “Viewfinders” designed by Gabrielle & documenting their findings through drawing, photography and writing. Aberdeen Artists, Anne Marquiss, Aubin Stewart and Mags Gray will be assisting Gabrielle when working with the Primary Schools on site visits & workshops.

The work will culminating in an exhibition in the Bon Accord Centre during the 2016 Look Again, Visual Art & Design Festival. (April 28th – May 2nd 2016)


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