Peacock & The Worm: Aberdeen’s New Pop-Up Art Gallery

At Hammond Associates, putting commercial landlords with vacant properties in touch with arts and community based charities in need of a meanwhile space is what we do best.

This year, in collaboration with partners Outer Spaces, we were able to give a new lease of life to an empty former charity shop by arranging for North-East based arts charity Peacock & The Worm to occupy the space on a temporary basis. Let’s take a look at how Peacock & The Worm revamped the space…

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Supported by Aberdeen City Council & Creative Scotland, Peacock showcase artworks from all over the world, focusing on printing and publishing. Their exhibitions show work by contemporary artists, fine art prints from their archives, and objects related to Aberdeen’s rich print history.

They are an open access studio, meaning anyone can use their facilities regardless of skill level and all are welcome join in.

Peacock & The Worm first got the keys to the 586 Sq Ft Union Street property on 13th June this year, immediately getting to work rejuvenating and transforming it into a beautifully presented art gallery and workshop space. The new Print Room gallery serves as an extra platform for artists, with pieces on display including works by established names such as Frances Walker, Ralph Steadman, and John Byrne in addition to a host of gifted up-and-coming talent.

As for the workshop element of the newly rejuvenated space, Peacock arts business manager David McCracken says: “Peacock’s mission is the growth of the workshop as a place people can come and make art, actually roll your sleeves up, get your hands dirty, be part of the community, make something; it’s incredibly empowering. You can go from here down the street to the workshop, you can see where it gets made and enroll in a class.”

Printmaking Sans Frontiers – Jonathan Comerford presents:
Works by Hard Ground Printmakers 1989 – 2021

At Peacock & The Worm’s latest event, held on 5th November, they hosted a talk by Jonathan Comerford surrounding the story of how he set up his project Hard Ground Printmakers, and to learn more about his work as well as the work of the other artists on show.

Hard Ground Printmakers was set up by Jonathan as an independent, open access printmaking studio in Cape Town, 1989, after he spent some time in Aberdeen, visiting and working at what was then known as Peacock Printmakers. Growing and improving his printmaking knowledge thanks to the expertise of the printmakers, he was also deeply inspired by the open access model of the Peacock workshop, where no membership or prior experience was necessary to join the studio.

His latest project, Printmaking Sans Frontiers, collects the works of over 30 artists who collaborated with Jonathan over the years since the studio’s inception.

Upon returning to the UK in 2006, Comerford continued his collaborative practice after basing himself in his Brixton studio and working out of the London Print Studio. He recently moved to Aberdeen, tracing a circle to the place where it all started, and where his printmaking practice without borders continues.

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