Silver City Soul presents an innovative portrait project that searches for the soul of one of Scotlands most historic cities. Working in partnership with Aberdeen City Council, the National Galleries of Scotland
s Outreach team has joined with the people of Aberdeen to create a collective portrait which explores the citys past, present and future. The resulting video and photographic work went on display this spring at the National Gallery Complex.
The exhibition includes powerful video footage, created by artist Adam Proctor, which is being shown alongside a set of striking portrait photographs. These photographs are arranged to form a montage which stretches the full length of the gallery. Inspired by the figurative paintings of 19th-century Aberdonian artists William Dyce and John Phillip (from the National Collection and Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museum Collections), the people of Aberdeen have been invited to represent themselves and their city as part of the Scottish National Portrait Gallerys Portrait of the Nation: Live! Project. The project uses portraiture to create a dialogue between the individual and the community, and between the city and the nation.
Video-artist Adam Proctor has created a film that exploits the cameras ability to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. Its gaze lingers on the faces and places that make Aberdeen distinctive. Adam has been supported by a core group of active participants in exploring the living heart of the city. His film, projected onto the Gallerys end wall, presents a powerful image of a changing city reflected in the faces of its inhabitants.
Robin Baillie, National Galleries of Scotland Senior Outreach Officer, said, 'Were very excited about presenting Aberdeen to the nation through our video portrait of its people. This exemplifies the National Galleries of Scotlands belief in the power of portraits and our commitment to representing the cities and regions of Scotland in the new Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Were helping to put a face to the place and showing the creative potential of the people of Aberdeen. The portrait can help keep a human image at the centre of a changing world.'