The University of Aberdeen’s Cruickshank Botanic Garden will host an outdoor exhibition celebrating the contribution of the Polish community to life in the city.

'Loons & Quines o'Seaton and Old Aberdeen' will demonstrate the influences and contributions made by Poles who have made Aberdeen their home over the decades.

The author and originator of the project is Marta Surowiec, an award-winning graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Wroclaw, Poland who currently lives in Scotland and where she is engaged in activities for the Polish diaspora and popularizing the history, culture and national heritage of Poland.

Photographs featured in the free exhibition were taken by University of Aberdeen graduate Dorota Puszkiewicz, who completed a Master of Letters Visual Culture and Film at the institution.

The outdoor exhibition is the last event of a diverse six-part Polish-Scottish Mini Festival for 2023 organised by Polish Association Aberdeen. Earlier this year they hosted the indoor exhibition ‘Who Are You?’ at Trinity Centre, a 'Polish-Scottish Ceilidh' at Pittodrie Stadium together with concerts of 'Maria Peszek’, ‘New Musette Quartet’ and ‘Matthew Kilner Quartet’ and folk fusion concert with ‘Kosy’ and ‘Iona Fyfe’.

Marta said: “The exhibition represents Polish society in Aberdeen and is focused on developing the image of Poles and on promoting their integration in the community. It is the second of its kind, the first one was dedicated to Torry, and it will gradually cover all areas of Aberdeen.

“We use the outdoor exposition and the personal narratives to share the stories of how we’ve built connections with this city we now call home. To this end, each of the project’s participants chose a location that is special to them and explained why they felt a bond with this particular place. We’ve created our own map of Loons and Quines o’ Old Aberdeen and Seaton giving you the opportunity to get to know us better.”

Dorota, who took her first degree at Gray’s School of Art, said: “I am a graduate of both Aberdeen's universities and I am very pleased that the exhibition will be held at the University of Aberdeen. I hope it will serve to look at us, the Polish community as part of the Aberdeen community that has a lot to give and that positively diversifies this place.

Professor George Boyne, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen, said: “We are delighted to host a second outdoor exhibition in Cruickshank Botanic Garden in collaboration with the Polish Association of Aberdeen.

“It is an important community space and, as a place of continual growth and change, it is a fitting backdrop to an event celebrating community integration.”

Mateusz Łagoda, President of the Polish Association Aberdeen added: “The Polish-Scottish Mini Festival, organised by Polish Association Aberdeen proves that building a community based on connecting very diverse cultural environments is possible.

“Many Poles have made Aberdeen their homes, we feel proud of our contribution to our granite city and proud of our identity. What is more we want to bring out a festival that celebrates Aberdeen as our city of choice so that our friends, neighbours and work colleagues can understand a different culture and in addition to this people from other parts of the country will visit to see our events.”

'Loons & Quines o'Seaton and Old Aberdeen' will open on Sunday 16 April and will run until the end of June.

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