Aberdeen is home to a series of illustrated Bonnie Beasts

A pair of talented illustrators who studied at Robert Gordon University’s (RGU) Gray’s School of Art have created a series of colourful children’s books about mythical beasts which live in and around the Granite City.

VratchShirin Karbor (28) and Rachel Logan (24) are hosting an exhibition of their work from the ‘Bonnie Beasts’ books at the Seventeen gallery on Belmont Street, which runs until December 21st.

The exhibition features a number of prints from the books, a limited copy of the books for the public to read and an interactive area with a game and activity sheets, where children and adults can create their own Bonnie Beasts.

The inspiration for the six loveable beasts comes from the Aberdeen Bestiary, a 12th century illustrated manuscript, which is housed at the University of Aberdeen and includes a variety of real and fictional animals.

Shirin and Rachel created the characters in the Bonnie Beasts books by mixing up the different animals and monsters featured in the Aberdeen Bestiary. Each character featured in the books - The Prickly Lion, The Vratch, The Fitsat, The Dinnaken, The Affa Kerfuffle and The Howker – has its own adventure set in the city of Aberdeen.

The two former Gray’s students responded to a call for submissions to the gallery on Belmont Street, which is run by Aberdeen City Council, and will now look to raise funding to print a small run of the books to be sold to the general public.

Shirin commented: “We both studied communication design at RGU and found that illustration was something we really enjoyed and were quite good at.

“When the opportunity came up, we got our heads together and tried to think about a nice local interest angle which would let us create something fun and full of characters– and that’s when the Aberdeen Bestiary sprang to mind.

“We both gave each other a brief of three Bonnie Beasts, created by fusing two of the animals from the Bestiary together and writing a short story on them and their adventures in Aberdeen.”

Shirin KarborRachel added: “We thought this type of book and exhibition would really grab the attention of both children and adults, because the books are based around very familiar locations in the city.

“The feedback we have received so far has been great and the aim is to try and raise enough money to do a small print run so that members of the public can buy the series, or just their favourite.”

The exhibition is open Tuesday – Saturday, 10am-5pm at Seventeen, 17 Belmont Street, Aberdeen.


Release by Rob Smith
Communications Officer
Press and Media Enquiries