Aberdeen Art Gallery’s first-ever artist-in-residence has donned a gold costume for a glittering spring walk along the River Dee.
Sound and performance artist Maja Zeco wandered from Riverside Drive to Duthie Park and back again on Saturday wearing her gold outfit.
She has been inspired by Eastre, Hymn to the Sun by JD Fergusson which is on display at 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 has made Aberdeen her home. In 2019 she was awarded a PhD from Gray’s School of Art, Robert Gordon University, in collaboration with the music programme at Aberdeen University.
Maja hopes those who saw her performance along the river and in Duthie Park will come to Aberdeen Art Gallery when it reopens its doors later this month.
She said: “My idea was just to walk and interact with the public on Saturday, but spontaneously I did a performance in Duthie Park.
“The wind picked up while I walked next to the obelisk and I unfolded a large golden emergency blanket, as a flag.
“The emergency blanket is for me a symbol of all displaced people around the world, due to climate change, conflict or socio-political hardships. It marks the arrival to safety, a new beginning.
“Its shiny surfaces reflected the light perfectly as I moved through the park. The work captivated the attention of children and families that I hope are inspired now to learn more about the work and visit Aberdeen Art Gallery when it reopens.”
Maja took inspiration for her walking performance from a sculpture which is part of the collection at Aberdeen Art Gallery.
She said: “My work ‘In Search of the Sun’ is inspired by J.D.Fergusson’s sculpture, “Eastre” from the collection of Aberdeen Art Gallery. The bust depicts a Saxon goddess of spring and it represents a stylised portrait of Fergusson’s partner, the dancer Margaret Morris.
“During my residency, I will research various identities of the goddess across Europe and create a film inspired by these stories. Themes of migration and belonging will be interwoven in the work.
“The piece also aims to capture the imagination of people in Aberdeen, visually, as winter and lockdown gradually end.”