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Don’t miss these exhibitions at Aberdeen Art Gallery in 2022

aberdeen art gallery 2022

From clothes designed for the likes of Princess Diana and Freddie Mercury to attention-grabbing sculptures and one of the most important UK archaeological finds of the century, Aberdeen Art Gallery’s 2022 exhibition calendar is already packed.

The Grade A-listed museum, which closed in 2015 to undergo a £34.6 million revamp, received the 2021 Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award from The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland.

Here, we look at all the exhibitions locals and visitors alike will be able to see at the popular Schoolhill venue.

These include exhibitions which opened in 2021 but will remain in the gallery for some part of 2022.

Zandra Rhodes: 50 Years of Fabulous (until March 20)

First launched in London in 2019 in celebration of 50 years of Zandra Rhodes’ label, the retrospective exhibition highlights more than 50 key looks, as well as 30 original textiles.

Known for her bright pink hair, flamboyant designs and colourful prints, the British designer created iconic gowns for the likes of Princess Diana, Freddie Mercury, Natalie Wood, Elizabeth Taylor, and Barbra Streisand.

Speaking to the P&J from her London studio ahead of the Aberdeen exhibition, Zandra said: “I did once visit it (Aberdeen) and I’m longing to come again.

“I always think of it as the home of Bill Gibb, who I think is one of the great fashion designers and I was proud to know him very well.

“I think he had his own pop of colour too – mine is just maybe a bit brighter.

Zandra Rhodes.

“Come to the exhibition, enjoy it, if you’ve got any questions, please send them and keep fashion alive.

“The world’s coming out of Covid, we’ve got to be careful but it’s going to be an exciting new time.”

Fashion-lovers are also invited to join Dame Zandra Rhodes in conversation with Dennis Nothdruft, the curator of the special exhibition, from 7.30pm to 9pm on Thursday January 20.

Tickets for the event can be booked here.

She’ll speak about her career and sign copies of her book, titled Zandra Rhodes: 50 Fabulous Years in Fashion, which can be purchased in the Art Gallery shop.

Kenny Hunter: Sculpture Court (until October 30)

Kenny Hunter, who created Feedback Loop, a firm favourite with gallery visitors, and Youth With Split Apple, which sits outside King’s College, opened his solo exhibition in late 2021.

His show, Sculpture Court, which is a reflection on the changing role of the monument as a public art form, includes six sculptures ranging in scale, as well as text works, such as banners and posters.

Kenny Hunter beside an elephant, part of his Sculpture Court exhibition
Kenny Hunter’s Sculpture Court exhibition is at Aberdeen Art Gallery until October 30.

Kenny said: “These types of art forms tend to be simple, direct clear messages.

“What I’ve tried to do is make them more ambiguous and balanced and open to interpretation.

“I’m looking for the viewer to come in and question why it is there and what relationship they have to the object and how the objects relate to each other.”

You can read our interview with Kenny here.

Diamond Celebration: 60 Years of the Embroiderers’ Guild in Aberdeen (until February 27)

Marking 60 years of the Embroiderers’ Guild and a new identity as the Aberdeen Stitch & Textile Group, this exhibition celebrates the creativity and the skill of the group’s talented members.

It features a wide range of work including intricate hand and machine embroidery, patchwork, quilting, beading, felting, canvas work, and more.

Those wishing to learn more can attend one of Aberdeen Stitch & Textile Group’s Spotlight Tours, which will take place on January 15 and 29 and February 12 and 26.

Art Fund Museum of the Year Micro-commissions (until March 6)

This is an exhibition of new artworks commissioned by Aberdeen Art Gallery using the prize money from the Art Fund Museum of the Year 2020 award.

These micro-commissions are small-scale and fast-paced responses to the permanent collection by locally-based creative practitioners.

The artists featured in this exhibition are: Lise Bos, Jo Gilbert, Lynne Hocking-Mennie, Helen Partridge Love & Noon Salah Eldin, Juliet Macleod, Joshua Macpherson, Anne Marquiss, Ursula Mathers, Kimberley Petrie, Florence Reekie, Nicola Seal, and Joe Stollery.

Juliet Macleod, whose work will feature at aberdeen art gallery in 2022
Juliet Macleod. Photo by Ben Boswell.

From January 15 to February 26, there will also be weekly Spotlight Tours led by artists commissioned to make new artworks for the collection.

Aberdeen Cares: Celebrating 150 years of Voluntary Services Aberdeen (March 12 – May 29)

To mark the organisation’s 150th anniversary, this exhibition explores VSA’s role in the history of social care in Aberdeen.

It will highlight the impact of human kindness through inspiring personal stories, captivating archival photography, documents and objects associated with caregiving in Aberdeen.

Frances Walker (March 19 – June 12)

Frances Walker CBE RSA is one of Scotland’s most highly regarded living artists. A painter and printmaker, Walker studied at Edinburgh College of Art.

She was also a founding member of Aberdeen’s Peacock Printmakers.

This exhibition, presented in association with Peacock Visual Arts, features six new prints made by Walker at the print studio.

Frances Walker at Aberdeen Art Gallery.
Frances Walker at Aberdeen Art Gallery.

Aberdeen Artists Society: Facing Forward (April 16 – July 3)

Aberdeen Artists Society (AAS), one of Scotland’s longest-established artist-led membership organisations, will showcase its members’ works.

AAS aims to raise awareness of contemporary visual arts in Aberdeen and Scotland by providing a forum for visual artists and makers to exhibit and promote their work.

Some of the artworks will be available to purchase.

Galloway Hoard: Viking-age Treasure (July 30 – October 23)

The Galloway Hoard is one of the most important UK archaeological finds of the century – the richest collection of rare and unique Viking-age objects ever found in Britain or Ireland.

Retired businessman Derek McLennan discovered the treasure in 2014 when he was scanning an area of church land in Dumfries and Galloway with two local ministers.

The new exhibition, Galloway Hoard: Viking-age Treasure, offers the first chance to see details – hidden by the dirt and corrosion of more than 1,000 years – revealed by expert conservation, painstaking cleaning and cutting-edge research.

In addition to the cleaned, conserved objects on display, AV and graphics will provide behind-the-scenes insight into the archaeological and scientific details.

Jerwood Art Fund Makers’ Open 2021 (November 19 – March 4 2023)

Art-lovers will be able to see new commissions by Anna Berry, Cecilia Charlton, Jahday Ford, Vicky Higginson, Francisca Onumah and Helena Russell.

Launched in 2010, Jerwood Art Fund Makers Open (formerly Jerwood Makers Open) supports UK-based artists and makers within one to 10 years of beginning their practice to develop their creative ideas.

Aberdeen Art Gallery 2022: Online exhibitions

100 Years of Insulin: The Aberdeen Story (until January 31)

January 23 2022 marks the centenary of the first successful treatment of a diabetic patient with insulin.

While this treatment took place in Toronto, the exhibition in Aberdeen will be celebrating the remarkable role of two Aberdonians in this major scientific breakthrough and its life-saving use.

Physiologist John Macleod led the Canadian team that successfully developed usable insulin, for which he was jointly awarded a Nobel Prize.

Robin Lawrence, a doctor and an early recipient of the “miracle drug”, went on to co-found what is now Diabetes UK.

Macleod’s Nobel Prize medal is currently on display at Provost Skene’s House. Click here to find out more.

Joan Eardley: Works on Paper (until May 18)

This online exhibition – which opened in 2021 – marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Joan Eardley, one of the most significant artists in 20th Century Scottish art.

Eardley’s work represents her extraordinary range and inventiveness in figuration and landscape in the post-war period of Scottish art.

In our weekly Two-Minute Masterpiece segment, Rebecca Stephen Kendle, museum assistant with Aberdeen Archives, Gallery and Museums, admires how the artist captured the fleetingness of late summer in Aberdeenshire. You can watch our video above.

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