In 2022 writer and performer Shane Strachan was commissioned by GHAT to create four new poetic works inspired and informed by artworks in the GHAT Art Collection, and the history and heritage of Aberdeen.
‘Queens Cinema’ was inspired by archival research on the building’s various uses: advocated library, cinema, and nightclub), and the broader art deco cinema movement of the 1920s and ’30s. This architecture is still evident around the city centre, with various recently repurposed cinema buildings.
GHAT Art Collection Artwork: Queens Cinema, a screenprint by Charmaine Hall.
‘Majesty’ focused on the built heritage of His Majesty’s Theatre. This piece was inspired by multiple screen prints by Aberdeen artists, focusing on theatre. From there, the British Newspaper Archive uncovered articles on the theatre’s architectural development. One of these, from the Aberdeen Daily Journal in 1904 in particular influenced the final poem which explores the original purpose of various architectural details still visible today.
GHAT Art Collection Artwork: His Majesty’s Theatre, a screenprint by Willie Rodger.
‘Evening Departure’ is inspired by the screenprint of the same name, by local artist Donald Addison, recounting the departure of the Orkney and Shetland ferry from Aberdeen Harbour as viewed from Fittie.
GHAT Art Collection Artwork: Evening Departure, Fittie, a screenprint by Donald Addison.
‘Snug Bar’ looks at Aberdeen’s lost physical heritage by focusing on this once well-loved pub which is now an empty car park on the corner of James Street and Virginia Street. It is written in the local dialect and inspired by archival material and personal reminiscences of Aberdeen’s former nightlife.
GHAT Art Collection Artwork: Snug Bar, an etching by Willie Watson.