A new art exhibition – curated by Gray’s School of Art graduate Rachel Grantputs – puts crude oil under the spotlight.
Focusing on Aberdeen – the previously self-proclaimed ‘Oil Capital of Europe’ – the exhibition drills down into aspects of oil narratives and examines how oil has influenced political, social and economic life.
Rachel started working on the dynamic exhibition titled Crude after securing Creative Scotland funding through her curatorial platform Fertile Ground.
The art show is currently on display in Gray’s School of Art’s creative unit, Look Again’s Project Space on St Andrews Street. This is the first full exhibition held within the gallery following its 18-month closure due to Covid-19.
Aberdeen as the Oil Capital of Europe
Rachel said: “Crude is an exciting exhibition that explores our complex relationship with crude oil. Those who visit will enjoy a set of newly-commissioned work that challenges the common perception that oil was a wealth creator.
“The exhibition features work from artists Ashanti Harris and Alison Scott and writer Shane Strachan. It explores different aspects of these relationships and examines the influence of North Sea oil production and its impact on the social fabric of the UK and Scotland since its discovery in the 1970s, to more recent explorations for oil in Guyana.”
Aberdeen was twinned with Guyana’s capital Georgetown in 2019. Multi-disciplinary artist and researcher Ashanti Harris explores this complex relationship, while north-east based writer and performer Shane Strachan focuses on contradictions surrounding Aberdeen’s dependency on the oil industry.
Crude exhibition features works from UK artists
As part of the exhibition, a selection of texts will be on display from local publications including editions of BlowOut magazine – which is produced by and for north-east oil workers. Oil over Troubled Water, A Report and Critique of Oil Developments in North East Scotland, published by Aberdeen People’s Press, will also feature.
The project is supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland’s Open Fund: Sustaining Creative Development and Look Again.
The exhibition runs until September 12. Opening times vary. Click here to find out more.