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Final year student finds a new meaning for ‘home’ through art


An Aberdeen-based student, who admits that contemporary art once made her feel inadequate, is set to display her inspirational final year project this week.

Natasha Riddoch (24), who is studying Contemporary Art Practice at Robert Gordon University’s (RGU) Gray’s School of Art, is looking forward to sharing the culmination of four years’ of work at the annual Degree Show, which runs until Saturday 24 June.

Natasha fondly remembers the support and mentoring she received from art teachers and tutors at Bridge of Don Academy and NESCol, but honestly reveals a slight uncertainty she had before beginning her course at Gray’s.

She said: “I was overjoyed to be accepted onto the programme, but explained to my lecturer early on that contemporary art made me feel inadequate whenever I viewed it. I felt that I wasn’t ‘arty’ enough and wondered how I’d be able to create art that people could relate to when I couldn’t even relate it to myself.

“I was given the best advice, which I still use today: think of it like you’re in a record or a book shop – you won’t like everything on display, but you will choose what suits your tastes.”

For her final year project, Natasha has delved into her past and a subject that is very close to her heart.

She explains: “During Aberdeen’s 2016 Look Again Festival, I was inspired by an interesting acrylic shape created by jeweller Anne Marquiss to represent Northfield. I’ve actually lived in 10 different areas of Aberdeen in my life and I decided to look at my own experiences of ‘home’ by creating my own three-dimensional representations of each area.

“This year, I’ve developed this idea further and invite the viewer to engage with my new surreal sculptures inspired by the materiality of domestic objects.”

Natasha’s time at university may be coming to an end, but she believes the experiences she’s had will stand her in good stead for the future.

“I wish I didn’t have to leave, but I am grateful to graduate with the knowledge, skills, connections and confidence that I’ve gained from my time at Gray’s.

“Every day has been a high and taught me something new, which I’m looking forward to putting to good use in the future. I’m hoping to apply to the Look Again and SPECTRA Festivals, where I can continue to create inclusive art within my hometown.”

The Gray’s School of Art Degree Show, which is sponsored by BP for the fifteenth year, runs from 16-24 June and will showcase work by students of all disciplines.

Release by Rob Smith
Communications Officer
Press and Media Enquiries