Artist sparkles along the River Dee with a golden performance


Aberdeen Art Gallery’s very first artist-in-residence donned a gold costume for a sparkling spring stroll along the River Dee.

Sound and performance artist Maja Zeco wandered from Riverside Drive to Duthie Park and returned on Saturday wearing her gold outfit.

It was inspired by Eastre, Hymn to the Sun by JD Fergusson which is on display at the Aberdeen Art Gallery.

Eastre is the Saxon goddess of spring, who represents the triumph of the sun after the gloom of winter.

Maja was born in Sarajevo but made her home in Aberdeen. In 2019, she received a PhD from Gray’s School of Art at Robert Gordon University, in collaboration with the Music Program at the University of Aberdeen.

© Darrell Benns / DCT Media
Maja Zeco in a gold costume on Riverside Drive, Aberdeen as part of a visual art performance.

Maja is hoping those who have seen her performance along the riverbank and in Duthie Park will come to the Aberdeen Art Gallery when it reopens later this month.

She said: “My idea was just to walk and interact with the audience on Saturday, but I spontaneously did a performance at Duthie Park.

“The wind picked up as I walked by the obelisk and unfolded a large golden emergency blanket as a flag.

“Emergency blanket is for me a symbol of all displaced people around the world, due to climate change, conflicts or socio-political difficulties. It marks the arrival at security, a new beginning.

“Its shiny surfaces perfectly reflected the light as I walked through the park. The work has captured the attention of children and families who I hope are now inspired to find out more about the work and visit the Aberdeen Art Gallery when it reopens.

Maja was inspired for her walking performance from a sculpture that is part of the collection of the Aberdeen Art Gallery.

She said: “My work ‘In Search of the Sun’ is inspired by JDFergusson’s sculpture ‘Eastre’ from the collection of the Aberdeen Art Gallery. The bust depicts a Saxon goddess of spring and it depicts a stylized portrait of Fergusson’s partner, the dancer Margaret Morris.

“During my residency, I will research different identities of the goddess across Europe and create a film based on these stories. The themes of migration and belonging will be interwoven in the work.

“The play also aims to visually capture the imaginations of Aberdeen residents, as winter and lockdown gradually comes to an end.

Aberdeen Art Gallery welcomes first resident artist

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