Aberdeen Art Gallery and the BP Portrait Award

I took the opportunity to visit the Aberdeen Art Gallery today. I still haven’t been since it reopened to the public late last year after 4 years of redevelopment and £34.6 million. It will shut tomorrow afternoon for Christmas and then remain closed for as long as we remain in Tier 4, so I thought I should seize the chance while I could.

It was very quiet and I sometimes found myself in enormous rooms alone with the art. I found it peaceful, comforting, and inspiring.

The BP Portrait Award 2020 is currently on display on the top floor of the gallery and I was blown away by what I saw. The portraits are all brilliant – so much detail and so realistic in some cases I thought they were photos. This is an annual award that’s usually hosted by the National Portrait Gallery in London but a redevelopment there has meant this year’s event is in Aberdeen which is a real honour. This is a truly fantastic exhibition and if you’re in Aberdeen tomorrow I highly recommend it. Tomorrow is your last chance until who knows when. You can see the exhibitors online here.

You can go outside onto the roof and see the surrounding streetscape from a different perspective.

That’s my bike with the basket on the front in the bottom centre of this next photo. This is what’s so brilliant about cycling: you can cycle right up to the door of where you want to go unlike cars which would have to go to a nearby carpark.

Later in the afternoon today I had to go out again and I took the cargo bike instead because I was feeling lazy and wanted the electric assist, plus the cargo bike is lit up like a Christmas tree and makes people smile when they see it. That makes me happy. At one point I was turning a corner and two pedestrians were standing waiting so I stopped and gestured for them to go because I think pedestrians should always have right of way … they were disappointed though and said they wanted to watch me ride past.

2 Replies to “Aberdeen Art Gallery and the BP Portrait Award”

  1. I love the statue with a mask and the view from the roof! We’ve been watching a portrait competition on TV and the judges always preferred the least photographic painting / drawings!

    1. Thanks, Colin. Ah, interesting about what the judges prefer. I wouldn’t know how to judge that competition. All the paintings were brilliant. It must have been hard to choose a winner.

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