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Gray’s Look Again host ‘Big up the Doric'

Thursday 09 December 2021

Gary Kemp (left) & Ica Headlam (right) from 'Big up the Doric'
A new creative venture, ‘Big up the Doric’, launches at Gray’s Look Again, city centre project space this week, as part of a four-day pop up exhibition.

‘Big up the Doric’ brings together collaborative duo, Ica Headlam of ‘Big up the Deen’ and Gary Kemp of ‘Doric Skateboards’ who are joining forces to launch a highly anticipated new business venture that celebrates the diverse community in Aberdeen.

The pop-up event will launch a much-anticipated range of ‘Big up the Doric’ skate decks, t-shirts and prints along with products from the respective Doric Skateboards and Big up the Deen merchandise.

RGU alumni, Gary and Ica, both completed programmes run by Gray’s Look Again unit and RGU’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group (EIG) with Gary successfully completing the Creative Entrepreneurship short-course during lockdown last year (2020) whilst Ica honed his business skills on an intensive, 12-week Creative Accelerator in 2019.

Gary Kemp said; “I’m really looking forward to launching, ‘Big up the Doric’. I’d encourage everyone to come along to our first pop up event. I first met Ica as a guest on his ‘Creative-Me’ podcast three years ago. Since then, we’ve launched our own brands, my ‘Doric Skateboards’ and Ica with ‘Big up the Deen’. Our paths have crossed off and on but it wasn't until  2020 that we decided to join forces to create ‘Big up the Doric’.

"We’re extremely proud of our home city and ‘Big up the Doric’ celebrates the North East’s cultural heritage and pays homage to the people that do things in Aberdeen that make a difference. We want to celebrate those who brighten up our streets, minds and even our social media feeds.

“Before doing RGU’s Creative Entrepreneurship course, I didn’t necessarily have a clear plan and my original business, Doric Skateboards, grew organically in various directions. Since the course, I’m more focused and confident. It’s fantastic that Gray’s Look Again project is supporting creative ventures like ours in the North East and hosting our exhibition.”

Hilary Nicoll, Look Again Co-Director said; "We’re really supportive of creative talent such as Gary and Ica’s and, events such as ‘Big up the Doric’, celebrate their success. Gray’s School of Art, in collaboration with RGU’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group (EIG) are committed to helping the creative sector thrive in the North East."

Sally Charles of EIG said; ‘There’s so much potential in the region and RGU’s Short Course really supports independent creatives with a toolkit for thinking about and planning their business. It’s fantastic to see Ica and Gary join forces and I look forward to seeing ‘Big up the Doric’ grow from strength to strength.”

A launch night for ‘Big up the Doric’ takes place on Thursday 9 December with festive drinks between 6pm – 8.30pm at the Look Again Project Space, St. Andrew Street. Everyone is welcome. The pop up continues on:

  • Friday 10 December 10-6pm
  • Saturday 11 December 10-6pm
  • Sunday 12 December 11-5pm

Come along and see a full range of ‘Big up the Doric’s new skate Decks, t-shirts and prints plus the full range of Doric Skateboards and Big up the Deen merchandise.

The Creative Accelerator is run by Look Again, part of Gray’s School of Art, in collaboration with the university’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group (EIG). The programme aims to help launch independent practitioners launch their businesses, or to take their existing concept to the next level of development and commercialisation. It also includes masterclasses from creative industry leaders. The next Creative Accelerator course launches next year and applications will open in the Spring.

The Creative Entrepreneurship course is an accredited Masters’ level qualification which gives graduates the knowledge and skills to transition their creative practice into a viable business. Over time participants can gain further credits to achieve a full postgraduate qualification.  For more information about 'Big up the Doric', visit:

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