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Exhibition set to showcase work of creative academics in Aberdeen

Thursday 19 September 2019

David Blyth and Hilary Nicoll
A group of ten artists, all staff at Gray’s School of Art, are set to host a brand new exhibition in Aberdeen, highlighting the work of those who inspire the next generations of creatives in the North-east.

‘Staff Outing’ is a diverse and timely exhibition showcasing the wide range of expertise within the Gray’s School of Art Contemporary Art Practice department.

The exhibition will include prints, sculpture and multi-media works, as well as a programme of performances, talks and events.

It is a chance for the public to explore the techniques, skills and ideas that underpin the high-quality teaching at Gray’s and that supports the talented graduates coming out of the school.

It is also an opportunity for students to understand more about the professional practice of those who teach them, and the exhibition will also be used as a learning resource, so students can develop a stronger understanding about exhibiting at a professional level.

Curated by the team at Look Again, part of Gray’s School of Art, ‘Staff Outing’ takes place at the Look Again Project Space, from Friday September 20, to Sunday October 13.

Look Again Co-Director, Hilary Nicoll, commented: “Staff Outing provides a unique opportunity for the talented and creative staff at Gray’s School of Art to showcase their own artistic practices to fellow academics, students and the general public.

“The team from the Contemporary Art Practice department spend a large amount of their time teaching and inspiring the next generation of artists in the studios at the art school, so this will be a great chance for them to demonstrate their individual professional practices as artists.

“A key priority for the university is in the cultural development of the region and we believe events such as this can really add to the creative economy in the North-east.”


David Blyth, Contemporary Art Practice Course Leader, will be exhibiting his work at the exhibition.

“We want to be seen as makers as well as teachers, so there is an element of changing perceptions about who we are and how our students and the public see us,” David commented.

“We see ‘Staff Outing’ as very much a learning tool, where we will be delivering seminars, talks and workshops in the space.

“We are trying to make this as much of a ‘real world’ scenario as we can. It’s important to get across that we are not existing in a vacuum, and we work in real time in the real world.”

David believes it is very important that as teachers of art and design, the team from Gray’s must not forget the importance of their practice, as this plays a huge role in the teaching and learning being delivered at the art school which helps to enhancing the student experience.

“I try to bring them together, so that teaching and artistic practice are interconnected, and I think I can say the same for the rest of the team. I think they feed each other – perhaps we are moulding students into artists as we do with our sculpture.

“It is a real strength and a big advantage to the students for us to be practicing. The success of the course also depends on our success as practicing artists. The reputation of the course increases and the learning experience is improved.”

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