Two bodies have come together to create a unique event to strengthen the link between the community in Aberdeen to the new Union Terrace Gardens and in particular a sculpture called the Memory Tree.

Nicola Atkinson, Beautiful Materials Design Studio, the artist, who made the Memory Tree in Union Terrace Gardens is giving away 188 pieces, that would have been offcuts, to members of the community at a special event arranged with the Common Sense Coffee House and Bar.

The MEMORY TREE sculpture is made from stainless steel, laser cut to form the leaves, rowan berries and branches of the design. There are one hundred and eighty-eight in-between shapes that remain from this process, varying in size. These have been individually signed, deburred, electropolished and fine-tuned to be able to be handled as souvenirs. A wonderful portable part of public artwork to treasure at home and come to the gardens to find where it was cut from in the MEMORY TREE. Like a puzzle, creating a bond between the gardens and the community.

Nicola said, ‘I am looking forward to meeting people and giving them a small piece of the memory tree. It is an honour to create the public event for Union Terrace Gardens. A memory tree has a strong tradition, creating a focal point for people to visit and spend time reflecting on thoughts of their loved ones.

My sculpture was inspired by the Rowan Tree, which is found high in the mountains of Scotland. It is often known as the Tree of Life, symbolising courage, wisdom and protection.’

Pieces of the tree will be given to people who book to meet artist Nicola Atkinson in Union Terrace Gardens on the 19 - 20 - 21 MAY 2023 between 11am - 3pm. Book free from today on Eventbrite ‘Pieces of Your Memory’. A time will be confirmed by return, you then pick up your ticket at Common Sense Coffee House & Bar. On the day you will meet Nicola and exchange your ticket for a one-off piece of the MEMORY TREE.

John Wigglesworth, owner, Common Sense said, ‘This is just a wonderful, simple, common sense way to complete the circle of producing art for the community and using all the material to allow the community to connect with the piece and more importantly Union Terrace Gardens. It is a very special project that we are delighted to support.’

The MEMORY TREE is intimate and approachable public art, providing stimulating and brilliant viewing from many angles. The magic can be witnessed during the day, acting as a sundial, as the sun slowly casts shadows across the lush landscape of the gardens.

Nicola Atkinson is an internationally acclaimed multi-disciplinary artist and designer whose career has been influenced by time spent on the West Coast of America, Sweden and living in Glasgow. Her dazzling public artwork specialises in place-making, social cohesion and community engagement and is displayed in museums and landscapes across Scotland, the USA, Cuba, Iceland and Europe.

Nicola and her company Beautiful Materials Design Studio has exhibited at Venice Biennale, V&A Dundee 2021. You can hear her talk on “Art Came in the Night”; a documentary on public art for BBC Radio 4 2022, presented by artist Kevin Harman.

Tickets can be found here.

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