Wednesday, 12 November 2008

It's Grim Up North

Well, so, some interesting news emerged yesterday which threatens to kill off the future of art and expression in Aberdeen. Ian Wood has pledged to donate fifty million quid of his own money to fund some bullshit scheme to "revitalise" the city centre. Two things: Aberdeen City Council has called the death knell for the City Centre by continually building stupidly huge shopping centres to take away business from it's main thoroughfare, and Aberdeen is hardly a city.

The proposed plan is to build a massive square over the top of Union Terrace Gardens, the railway line and the Denburn essentially paving from Union Street across to Schoolhill, which in itself is rediculous and will cost much more than the pledged £50 Million. The issue is that a feasibility study is to be put underway by Wood, and while this is going on any work on Peacocks will be halted in the meantime. If there is any slippage in Peacocks time the project will fall apart, they'll lose the Architects, the design team, the campaign team. There'll be job losses and in the long run, once the lease on the present building runs out Peacocks will probably just cease.

I know that a lot of people are sticking around in Aberdeen at the moment to help improve things and hopefully be a part of a changing culture up here, but any chance of that will be gone and im pretty sure all of the young artistic community will just up and leave. We've tried, we're still trying, we really want to make a difference, make a change. But how long can we just live with those in charge of Aberdeen pushing aside any kind of culture in exchange for short term solutions and easy cash?

It's not just Peacocks at risk, Whitespace, Citymoves, Cultural Enterprise and other organisations are going to be housed there. But if there was to be no peacosk that would be a pretty shocking state of affairs, because like it or loathe it, agree with the exhibitions or policy or not it is the closest thing we have to a Contemporary Art Centre and other galleries like Slogan need the support of Peacocks to thrive. if Peacock goes, art goes. Grays will be all there is left.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

By the very act of proposing this (And he acknowledges that his pledge is not enough for the project to succeed) they are pushing the eariest move forward on any works on union terrace until the first quarter of 2009. All the while Union square ploughs on to build more shop units to lie empty. Aberdeen council seems in such disarray that common sense in town planning is not even a concideration as councilors don't look past their own careers. In short yep its Grim up north. The rents not even worth it.