Shop at the Top is situated on the new upper floor of the Aberdeen Art Gallery and will showcase the work of local creatives.
The aim of the new retail space is to promote and support local artists, designers and makers. It will feature creatives living and working in all AB postcode areas.
The gallery, on Schoolhill in Aberdeen, reopened to visitors on Monday, April 26.
Tapping into Aberdeen’s creative networks
Three or four makers will be showcased at a time for a three month period. Then, each will nominate the next creative to take their spot in a ‘pay it forward’ style.
Susy Bell, the retail manager at the gallery, said: “Online shopping was fine during lockdown, but there’s no substitute for being able to make a purchase in person, especially when you’re buying creative work such as paintings, ceramics, jewellery and accessories hand-crafted by independent artists, designers and makers.
“By tapping into the makers’ own networks and asking them to recommend a maker whose work they admire for a future slot, we’ll have a constantly-evolving range of meticulously-crafted products from a diverse range of local creatives, at a range of price points.”
Meet the first makers
Many of the staff at the gallery work in the creative industry themselves and are art school graduates. They had the honour of selecting the first artists to be featured ahead of the launch, who are as follows:
Helen Ruth Scarves
Helen Greensmith creates luxury accessories inspired by Scottish landscape, folklore and wildlife. She specialises in digitally-printed silk and wool scarves, each with its own story.
Dolly Dimple Design
Rose Nicoll creates laser-cut acrylic jewellery from her home studio in Aberdeen. Her pieces are inspired by 1950s pin-up style, nature and history.
Rachel Robertson handcrafts all of her luxury bags and accessories. She runs her business from Deemouth Artists Studios in Torry, combining striking colours with interesting materials to create bold designs.
William Reid Studio
William Reid’s recent artworks are inspired by the north-east coastline. He was forced to work on a smaller scale during lockdown which led him to experiment. He is influenced by form, colour, light, surface and pattern in landscape and nature.
Alison Thyra Ceramics
Alison Thyra Grubb combines traditional techniques with digital technologies to make her iridescent ceramic jewellery and homewares. She works from her studio in Aberdeenshire and creates geometric designs that cast rainbow reflections.
‘Demonstrates our commitment to supporting local artists, designers and makers’
Councillor Mairie Boulton, Aberdeen City Council’s culture spokesperson, said: “Aberdeen Art Gallery will play a number of important roles in Aberdeen City Council’s Covid-19 recovery plan. As well as being home to an inspiring art collection, it is also an important social space where we can safely meet friends and family.
“The addition of Shop at the Top is a welcome new addition to the visitor experience, and demonstrates our commitment to supporting local artists, designers and makers, bringing them to the attention of local people and visitors to the city.”
Plan your visit to the gallery here.