Aberdeen’s second granite festival programme to be launched

17 April 2012

Aberdeen’s 2012 Granite Festival programme will be unveiled at 10.30am today [Tuesday 17 April] at Aberdeen Art Gallery, Schoolhill.

Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums manager Christine Rew will welcome partner organisations and talk about the success of the city’s first-ever granite festival last year [2011] and how its popularity has led to a second festival.

Aberdeen City Council is working in partnership with Aberdeen City Heritage Trust which has generously supported the festival leaflet and distribution, Breedon Aggregates, Scottish Sculpture Workshop, Rubislaw Quarry, Aberdeen Renewables Energy Group and the University of Aberdeen.

This year’s Granite Festival offers tours, the opportunity to travel back in time and talks on granite and all are free, from Sunday 13 May to Saturday 19 May, in and around Aberdeen.

Granite Festival organiser Jenny Brown said: “Last year was very successful, with all events really well attended; many people were “regulars” to the entire talks programme. The message from them was clear they wanted more.

“This year’s programme features Aberdeen’s granite heritage from its geological origins millions of years ago and how people have created sites, buildings, monuments and art from this enduring rock of ages.”

 Also in attendance will be those involved in delivering many of the events including:

• Douglas Campbell – Aberdeen City Heritage Trust
• Mike Macauley - Breedon Aggregates
• Hugh Black – owner of Rubislaw Quarry
• Sandy Whyte – owner of Rubislaw Quarry
• Dr Malcolm Hole – University of Aberdeen.

The 2012 Granite festival programme is as follows:

Sunday 13 May
A Granite Day Out
Bus tours to Craigenlow Quarry, Dunecht
10am, 11am, 12noon, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm

Craigenlow is Aberdeenshire’s largest operational granite quarry producing in excess of ½ million tonnes of stone per year.

Pick up from outside Marischal College. Please arrive 10-15 minutes before the advertised time so buses leave promptly. Advance booking is required.

Sunday 13 May
Architectural walking tour of Aberdeen

Join Aberdeen City Heritage Trust’s Douglas Campbell and historian Chris Croly on a 2-hour tour which will highlight buildings by nationally and locally important architects and touch on how early 19th century street improvements works shaped the city. Meet at the statue of General Gordon, outside Aberdeen Art Gallery, Schoolhill. Advance booking is required.

Monday 14 May
Minerals to Monuments
University of Aberdeen, Meston 4 Lecture Theatre, King’s College, Old Aberdeen.

Dr Malcolm Hole presents an illustrated account of the geological origin of granite through the centuries. Advance booking is required.

Tuesday 15 May
Rubislaw Quarry, Then and Now
Cowdray Hall, Schoohill, Aberdeen

Curator Jenny Brown will give an illustrated talk on Aberdeen’s most famous hidden gem. Advance booking is required.

Wednesday 16 May
Circles, Buildings and Ball: Granite in Aberdeen before the Industrial Revolution
Aberdeen Maritime Museum, Shiprow

Judith Stones, lead curator, will look at the use of granite over thousands of years before Aberdeen became the Granite City. Please telephone Aberdeen Maritime Museum (01224) 337714 to book a place on this talk.

Thursday 17 May
Art in Granite
Cowdray Hall, Schoolhill, Aberdeen

Granite carving was a core component of the Scottish Sculpture Workshop [SSW] programme from its inception in 1979 until 2002. A panel discussion will feature alumni from the Scottish Sculpture Workshops Granite Symposiums and local sculptors, drawing on their own histories with this natural resource and will reveal the skills, ideas and techniques of working with granite. Advance booking is required.

Friday 18 May
Granite – a hot topic for Renewable Energy
Aberdeen Maritime Museum, Shiprow

Iain Todd, of Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (AREG), will discuss the region’s latest energy resource – hot rocks. Geothermals in Aberdeen is a new talking point and with the abundance of granite in the North-east, this interactive presentation will focus on the region’s potential at the cutting-edge of research and development of hot rocks as a renewable energy resource. Advance booking is required.

Saturday 19 May
Granite and the Gallery
Aberdeen Art Gallery, Schoolhill

Travel back in time and meet key figures in Aberdeen’s granite industry and discover their influence on Aberdeen Art Gallery. Granite merchant Alexander Macdonald will tell how his success led to the creation of a first class art collection and the establishment of the Art Gallery. Architect Alexander Marshall Mackenzie and stonemason Bob Adam will discuss the design for the gallery’s extension and how the granite columns were prepared and finished for the Centre Court. No booking required, just drop in by.

From Tuesday 17 April tickets for the tours and talks can be booked at Aberdeen Box Office [unless otherwise stated] Union Street, telephone (01224) 641122 or by visiting www.boxofficeaberdeen.com

The Granite Festival has been supported with a Festival of Museums grant from Museums Galleries Scotland.