Friday, 25 September 2009

The next exhibition at Left Bank will be of work by The Aberystwyth Printmakers.

Friday 2nd October 2009
6pm - 8pm

Show runs until 31st October
Left Bank, 5 bridge Street, Tarland, Aberdeenshire. AB34 4YN
013398 81603 / 07775606087

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Sad News about Jen Beattie...

All those participating at Mill Farm are deeply saddened by the death of Jen Beattie on Thursday 24th September 2009.

She was a joy to work with and we are proud to have had her paintings showing in the exhibition this year and on previous occasions. Her presence is so much missed - Our sympathy to all her family and other friends.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Make Friends with Strange People: Arts Breakfast with Peter Jenkinson and Merlyn Riggs

The pressing need for greater openness, curiosity and promiscuity in the world of art
Keynote Speaker:

Peter Jenkinson of Channel 4’s Big Art Project

Guest Curator:

Ruth Barker of PAR+RS

10am Saturday 26 September

Scottish Sculpture Workshop is delighted to welcome artist Merlyn Riggs to Lumsden, Aberdeenshire, to curate the latest of her series of Arts Breakfasts.... visit for more information

NEOS'09 is over!

Thank you to everyone who participated and came to see all the amazing work on show for NEOS 2009.

We'd like to remind everyone that the NEOS booklets are a year round directory - and not "just" an advert for a 10 day event in September! - So keep any spare booklets you have for future use during 2009/10, and keep telling people about it!

We've heard of several stories of people getting commissions from the booklet entry already (out with the NEOS event), so they are an essential tool to communicate with the art going public in the North East of Scotland!

We'll be sending out digital feedback forms this week - we'd love to hear of all you comments, positive or negative, as we want to make NEOS better each year - for entrants and public alike.

Thanks again, we hope you had as much fun, and interesting visitors as we did (At Mill Farm, Kemnay).

Monday, 21 September 2009

phil blog: NEOS week day10

Firstly, apologies for the "off the radar" blogging (or not, as the case IS). We've been so busy over the last 10 days I've taken to "chillin'" at night - and refusing to switch on the PC when I get home.

Our NEOS week at mill farm has been amazing - we welcomed our 1000th visitor at 2pm on Sunday 20th... closing the day with 1132 visitors. We've had a wonderful array of people coming in and talking about their NEOS experiences, how many shows they've seen, how wonderful it is to see so many (and so varied) artists, makers and galleries in the North East of Scotland.

We've been visited by many first timers to NEOS - which is brilliant to see that more people are hearing about it - after 6 years, it's grown in strength to strength and still growing. NEOS spreads by word of mouth and the network of artists involved promoting and raising awareness - so thank you to everyone who has helped raise awareness and make this NEOS a wonderful platform to promote everyone involved.

The public have also fed back their gratitude to the quality and welcoming nature of the NEOS venues. It's thrilling to know that "the public" are now seeing that the North East of Scotland has so many professional and engaging arts practitioners.

At the end of play today, we'll have had approximately 1200+ visitors over 10 days. We hope that you all have had a wonderful NEOS experience for 2009. Here's to next year!

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Phil Blog NEOS day 5

We were "off" yesterday - so no post for day 3 I'm afraid. We did hear some fantastic reports from some other venues, notably from a friend who had visited Johnshaven and thought their collective spirit was fantastic. A local “map” has been produced, where all the local venues have got together to promote EACHOTHER - they have even produced a marker system that when visitors get a stamp from all Johnshaven venues, you are entered into a prize draw…brilliant! “bunnets aff” to the guys.

We had a quiet day yesterday, with a quick visit to Mill farm, only to be told that there were around 60 people visit over the 4 hours of Tuesday.

Today Gabi is in Aberdeen for a meeting – so Lynne Strachan Picks me & poppy up to head to mill farm fro 12.15 We sadly missed Alan (Typeface man)… so I still can’t report his last name! (or more to the point, what he wants to do to help us with Typeface a week!)…

I set up the PC and start working on a wee website I’ve been asked to do – I think people are frightened by the man on the PC in the corner…it’s no paintin’ captain! Perhaps I look too studious to be approachable he he. I did also get a rather abruptly honest visitor telling my the price of my slate work was “uncivilised”, I think this is what NEOS is for… to present situations to practitioners to react to… it’s always good to see how to react to a crass statement now and again!

We have a steady amount of visitors again today, 70+ by the end of play!… Madge Wards came for a visit, it’s always good to see her cheery, positive face – and her numbers are up around the 70’s (she had 101 visitors last year – “I’m here by myself, in the middle of nowhere, and I am so happy people are coming to see me!”- what a trooper.

We also get word from the Skinny Magazine – Jaco Justice has written a beautiful wee piece on NEOS – it’s well worth reading.
NEOS 2009: September 12th - 21st. Visit for more informatio

Scratching the Surface 2009 @ Ardo House, Whitecairns

Come along to Ardo House, Whitecairns, Aberdeen AB23 8XN and discover the extraordinary!

“Scratching the Surface“ is this year’s theme to which a selected group of artists have been invited to respond; through the medium of installation‚ performance and artwork‚ all of which can be experienced within the tranquil setting of the extensive grounds.

Check out the programme page for details of times and events..

Open Saturday 12th – Sunday 20th September, see website or NEOS catalogue for opening times and directions.

Peter McRae will be performing ‘Tree Air’, in two movements on Saturday 19th at 2pm.
NEOS 2009: September 12th - 21st. Visit for more information

Monday, 14 September 2009

phil blog: NEOS week day3

Gabi and I have a semi day off (Meetings in the morning), but we are in Aberdeen, and head to the Itchee Wasp show in the Academy Centre. It's a fantastic looking show, with work from Whitespace (Arts Development Tutors). I particularly like Craig Barrowman's work, his odd crystal / mathematical forms are intriguing. The show looks stunning on the whole, held in the old FCUK shop – it’s a fantastic example of how art can transform a space in times of recession, the more these art spaces open, the more the public are “educated” to be confident to approach and experience art. The Ethos of NEOS basically!

Gabi cycled to Mill Farm from Inverurie, as I stayed at home and worked, whilst Poppy slept… once awake, I head over with Poppy to Mill farm for around 4.30pm. Gabi has had a good afternoon, “slow but steady” (around 30-40 visitors today). As the day comes to a close, we hear some sad news that Jen Beattie has had a stroke, we are thinking about you Jen! We all end up in Susie’s studio and talk about the amazing scope of the arts scene up here, and how NEOS is the tip of the iceberg, just think how many artists makers and galleries there are “up here”… it’s quite exciting to think about how vibrant and productive the North East of Scotland’s practitioners are.

Ann Thomas also contributes to our Typeface A Week project with “NEOS Lino” – free to download and use for one week.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

phil blog: NEOS week day2

Ah! the weather! Did I mention that yesterday was an amazing, clear, crisp September day? Today? Dreich! - Never mind, we'll see how it goes...

Gabi and I arrive at Mill Farm, just after 10am and there are already people checking out the work on the walls, barely time to get a coffee in! Magnhild is on waffle duty, boy oh boy are those Norwegian waffles tasty! - NEOS, it's not just about selling work you know! We (the participants) are having a great time talking to each other about our work and "things on", we're really happy about the networking and social aspect the focused week NEOS gives us as artists.

The numbers of visitors are immense today, final count was 232 visitors! (so the weather doesn't put people off!) - We'd heard that someone was planning a family walk, but decided against it, but started following the yellow NEOS signs!

We'd also spoken to lots of people today that had never heard of NEOS before, so it does appear that the word is spreading! We've all agreed that everyone showing at Mill Farm this year has tried to tell more people about NEOS (and our venue)... We also had a fantastic visit from the Knock News
NEOS 2009: September 12th - 21st. Visit for more information

Saturday, 12 September 2009

phil blog: NEOS week day1

Phil Thompson (NEOS designer) is going to blog his NEOS week...

today is the first day of NEOS2009... Gabi rushes off to Mill Farm for some last minute prep / hanging, whilst I look after Poppy (late night last night!), so Pops has a lie in...

We get to Mill Farm at 10.30 to see a throng of people checking out the 12 artists congregated at Susie Hunt's venue. The morning has kicked off with a real bang!

The morning is solid - at least 10 people per 20 / 30 mins up until dinner time... We were visited by Aberdeen City Council's Cultural Strategy crew! - Gary Cameron was most impressed with the scope and range of practitioners included in NEOS - and sees a great opportunity for NEOS to be a major part of the "City of Culture" - if (and when!) we (Aberdeen City & Shire) get it... 2013. It was a pleasure discussing the range of work on show- the amazing stories of how people have progressed and pushed their artwork / practice because of NEOS over the years (I'd mentioned Sjarifah Roberts story for the Creative Cultures Networking night about NEOS giving her the confidence to build a bespoke kiln to realise her "bigger" ideas - amazing story!)...

I was also impressed to meet a man who was one of the first people to "digitize type" - (Alan, was his first name)... He promises to get in contact about "Typefaceaweek" - and is very interested in not only contributing, but helping Gabi and I squeeze more potential from the project. He Took out postcards and business cards - so we'll hopefully have more to report on later this week!

We also had a visit from a tutor from Duncan of Jordanstone (Dundee art school) who was most impressed with the NEOS set up - and the connection it had on many levels with the "art going public".

All in all, not only did we all at mill farm think that today was an amazing success (for the sheer number of visitors), but we all pulled together, had some banter, talked about our work with each other, talked about our aspirations and dreams... it's crucial and an often over looked aspect of what we do as practitioners.

Overall, there was a steady stream of people coming to see the work on show (140 + over the whole day). Everyone sold work (except me, but I was more than happy to have met the people I did and the possible projects that might arise from those meetings!)
after a long and eventful day, we slink home and have a fantastic home made vegetable stir fry - simple! more tomorrow. Phil.

SSW activities for NEOS

There are creative things happening at Scottish Sculpture Workshop this week, both to see and to do. We would love to see you and share ideas, make things and enjoy the sun. Casting and mosaic making for all ages, two museums and all afternoon tea. We look forward to seeing you!

On Saturday 12th

12-2pm Mosaic making for children (7-12 yrs) - £3 entry

2-3pm Metal casting for all ages - £5 entry

10am-4pm Museum of SSW and Museum of Me - Clothes Maketh the Woman - Special opening

Daily Mon 14th to to Friday 18th

2-4pm Occaisonal Tearoom - Meet Merlyn Riggs over Tea and share some creative ideas

10am-4pm Museums

On Wednesday 16th

2-3pm Bronze casting demo - free

On Saturday 19th

1-4pm Occasional Tearoom - grand finale

10am-4pm Museum of Me

10pm-4pm SSW Museum

NEOS 2009: September 12th - 21st. Visit for more information

Friday, 11 September 2009

Belinda Rose "Colour Studio" invite to contribute to her NEOS ptoject

"I Hope to see you at the Colourbothy during NEOS 09, opening tomorrow (Saturday 12th) at 2.00pm.
I will be weaving a small piece on Harley the Jacquard, and would love you to visit. If you would also like to make a small drawing to be included in the collage, that would be great.
Flowers, birds, squiggles, your abstract ideas such as what rain or sunshine look like, anything small really, doodles such as those in the weaving below, will be welcome. Drawings fitting in a 2" square or so, will work.
If you would also like to make a donation to my arc collection box for the arthritis research charity, I will put your name in a draw for the final piece of collaged weaving when finished.
I am open from 2.00 till 6.00pm on Saturdays to Mondays (12th -14th & 19th - 21st), and from 11.00 til 2.00pm on Tuesday 15th & Friday 18th. And of course I can be there at other times to suit us both.
I have new weavings in many different weights and textures to show you. Hope to see you soon.
Best Wishes

01330 844409

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Scratching the Surface 2009 (NEOS)

September 10, 2009

Come along to Ardo House, Whitecairns, Aberdeen AB23 8XN and discover the extraordinary!

“Scratching the Surface“ is this year’s theme to which a selected group of artists have been invited to respond; through the medium of installation‚ performance and artwork‚ all of which can be experienced within the tranquil setting of the extensive grounds at Ardo.

Check out the programme page for details of times and events.

Open Saturday 12th – Sunday 20th September, see website or NEOS catalogue for opening times and directions.

NEOS 2009: September 12th - 21st. Visit for more information

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

opening: Bridge View

A NEOS exhibition launching the 2009 open studios event

‘Al Andalus`

Paintings inspired by the Alhambra palace and Moorish Andalucia

Frances Crawford Tracey Johnston Patricia Reith
10 September – 29 November

Preview 6-8pm Thursday 10 September


Three artists with their own very individual styles interpret their response to the beautiful Alhambra Palace in Spain, inspired by memories of an idylic painting holiday the artists shared in the region

for the full PDF invite please download it from here :

Friday, 4 September 2009


Ian Shewan has informed us that his "NEOS specific" email address has been targeted by a phishing scam sent out by what looks like an HMRC tax refund. It is of course a scam and you should not follow / give your credit card details to anyone.

It is noteworthy that the email / web address they use is not the official : but uses a "" on the end.

I (Phil Thompson) am currently reporting this issue to the HMRC and I hope that something can be done to catch the Phishing culprit.

Please pass this information on to anyone you think might be affected by this type of email scam.

NEOS 2009: September 12th - 21st. Visit for more information

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

VSA, Easter Anguston Amendment

VSA Easter Anguston will be open on Saturday 12th September 2009 10-16hrs complete with diverse artwork and catering! Sorry for the error when we entered our information into the catologue entry.

See you there!

NEOS entry :

NEOS 2009: September 12th - 21st. Visit for more information


NEOS @ Musa art and music café
Scottish food fortnight a celebration of fantastic Scottish food and ingredients........with a twist!

5 sept - 19 sept 2009 ideal time to entertain family, friends and customers.

Musa art and music café, 33 exchange street, aberdeen ab11 6ph tel 01224 571771

Neos 2009: september 12th - 21st. Visit for more information

ITCHEE WASP - new NEOS venue

Itchee Wasp (arts collective) will be participating in this years North East Open Studios at The Academy Shopping Centre on Schoolhill (across from The Aberdeen Art Gallery.) - not as advertised in the NEOS booklet, with the Red Art Bus.

They will be open during the 10 days of NEOS on:
Saturday 12/9/09 from 10am - 5pm
Sunday 13/9/09 from 12pm - 4pm
Monday 14/9/09 from 10am - 5pm
Tuesday 15/9/09 from 10am - 5pm
Wednesday 16/9/09 from 10am - 5pm
Thursday 17/9/09 from 10am - 7pm
Friday 18/9/09 from 10am - 5pm
Saturday 19/9/09 from 10am - 5pm
Sunday 20/9/09 from 12pm - 4pm
Monday 21/9/09 from 10am - 12pm

Itchee Wasp is an Aberdeen artist collective focused on promoting and exhibiting artists who work within the Arts Development Team (Aberdeen City Council). Artist mediums include but are not limited to painting, printing, sculpture, jewellery, textiles, film and digital media.

for more info on Itchee Wasp - check out thie website :

NEOS 2009: September 12th - 21st. Visit for more information