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Artist inspired by everyday creativity for public exhibition including 1000 origami birds


Alison McGregor (22) from Rothesay on the Isle of Bute, a fourth-year Photographic and Electronic Media student at Robert Gordon University’s Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen, recently showcased her work to the public at the School’s 127th annual Degree Show, sponsored by BP. 

Alison McGregor Photographic & Electronic MediaFor her exhibition, Alison displayed her series of photographs based on the concept of ‘everyday creativity’ which highlights that individuals from all walks of life have the ability to be creative in their everyday lives.

The former Rothesay Academy pupil’s project also involved making over 1000 origami birds which were incorporated into her work and exhibition space.

Alison explains:

“I believe that by embracing creativity, the mundane association with the term ‘everyday’ can be removed. I firmly believe that normal people have the ability to create beauty anywhere and by exploring this idea there is potential to develop and enhance our day to day lives.

“I have made 1128 brightly coloured origami cranes which feature throughout my work. I wanted to create an association between repetition, order and skill – I find working with your hands is very therapeutic and wanted the public to engage with my work. For me, the cranes are a symbol of my project – highlighting that art and creativity is accessible to all.”

Alison’s unique exhibition also showcases the varied styles of photography she has embraced during her studies. Her collection includes a large-scale portrait printed on tracing paper, a series of double-sided photographic prints backlit by natural and box light, and nine images showing the stages of creating the origami cranes.

Alison continues:

“I like to experiment with different hanging and printing techniques to reflect the messages I wish to portray through my work. For me, the final stages of making a piece can often be the most crucial so I have taken great care to create my display.

“For example in my piece entitled ‘Flow’, I have used double-sided frames on transparent paper and hung the piece in an unorthodox style – the frames come out of the wall – which means the viewer can see both sides of the print. The images also soak up the light in the space which means they naturally glow in the daylight.”

Alison’s 1128 origami birds were scattered on the floor of her exhibition and viewers were invited to take one home if they wished. Each bird was also stamped with contact details – an unusual version of a business card!

Alison adds:

“I really wanted to give away the paper cranes because the idea of my art being accessible to the public is crucial. It is my genuine aim as an artist that people can identify with my work and understand that creativity is a gift we all possess. I feel a real sense of achievement when there is a connection between the viewer and the maker.”

Gray’s School of Art Degree Show 2012, sponsored by BP, showcased a plethora of undergraduate talent across a range of disciplines including 3D and product design, painting, printmaking, sculpture, fashion and textiles, graphics, digital media, visual communication, photography and electronic media.

Alison is set to graduate with a BA (Hons) in Photographic & Electronic Media in July.

Issued by:
Sarah Grieve

Communications Officer | Design & Technology

Robert Gordon University
Schoolhill
Aberdeen
AB10 1FR
Tel: 01224 262206
Email: s.j.grieve@rgu.ac.uk.