01 December, 2006 – 01 April, 2008

On 1 December 2006 the ‘Partners’ residency programme started within an area of Aberdeen facing regeneration to encourage varied, local communities to participate in the arts. Three artists will each work and live for six months in the area: Eva Merz (December 2006-July 2007), David Rushton (July – December 2007) and artist duo Kevin Reid & Graeme Roger (January – April 2008). The project is in collaboration with Stationhouse Media Unit (SHMU).

Roger + Reid (January – April 2008)

Graham Roger and Kevin Reid have been working collaboratively as ‘ROGER & REID’ for over four years now. Most of their work comes from a shared interest in cultural oddities, eccentrics, oddballs, historical anomalies, psychotropic adventures and utopian gentrification.

During their stay in Tillydrone and the surrounding communities they plan to seek out like-minded individuals with the outlook of collaborating on a North East ‘goon show’ style radio slot, films and sketches and a possible rock opera. They have been resident in Tillydrone for under a week now and are still finding their feet within the community.

So if you see two wee hairy guys with cameras and microphones snooping around the neighbourhood fear not! it’s only ROGER & REID.

film still of boy's face in close-up, taken from video made by primary school kids

Still of film made by Donbank’s primary 4 kids

David Rushton (July – December 2007)

Since the start of his residency in July artist Dave Rushton has been working on media projects with Station House Media Unit (SHMU) at Woodside and movies and models with Primary 4 at Donbank School in Tillydrone. With volunteers and SHMU staff he is now setting up and ‘arts and community’ TV service. ‘Channel 6 will run through the communal aerials at Elphinstone Court before being rolled out to other high-rise blocks around Christmas 2007.

Donbank’s Primary 4 class are making topical TV programmes of 30 seconds to 3 minutes for the channel and end of year Concert. Dave is also giving training to local residents who’ve formed a film crew to make local programmes with an arts and music emphasis. One production is under way to represent Gray’s Schools of Art’s graduate Tracy Roberston’s community plan for a café and play area on the site cleared of housing in Tillydrone. Local TV can’t broadcast to the whole area – possibly not until digital switchover in 2010 – so these short TV shows (and some older ones too) will be transmitted as radio on the new community channel SHMUfm which launches on 20 October on 99.8fm.

Another part of the residency involves scale models of buildings – those we know and those we might like to see. With the assistance of Peacock’s Dana Swanson Donbank’s Primary 4 kids are building models of their favourite places and working on ideas for the new café and play-space. After half term Dave and Dana will work with the school and local parents and the sets and costumes for the pantomime which is based on a ‘new’ fairy tale of life on the River Don.

Eva Merz – Tillydrone (Dec 06 – July 07)

Tillydrone, a community of 4000 inhabitants, is one of six so-called regeneration areas in Aberdeen – an area with high concentrations of social housing, unemployment, drug and alcohol misuse, crime and anti social behaviour – in short a community with a reputation.

During the first six months artist residency Eva Merz experienced the community close-up; researching regeneration plans, meeting local people, photographing, interviewing and making friends. The big question is: What can an artist possibly do to make a difference?

The end result of Eva’s residency is a book containing photographs and interviews with nine women living in Tillydrone; “a discovery through listening to people.”

Go to the Eva’s website for the full report of her time in Tilly.

Buy the book ‘Tillydrone’

woman playing with dog and ball next to sign that says 'no ball games' and 'no exercising pets'shmu logopartners logo