Artists’ Profiles

Caroline Gausden

Caroline Gausden is currently based at Gray’s School of Art, writing a curatorial led practice based PhD on Feminist Manifestos and Social Art Practice. She also works as a curator for the Scottish Contemporary Art Network producing events in the Northeast around the theme of hospitality and co-produced an experimental sound festival as a member of the experimental sound art collective sonADA. She has a background in leading community education projects and research into contemporary art practice. Before coming to Aberdeen, she worked as a researcher at CCA, Glasgow and was a founding member of the environmental group South Seeds where she worked with artists, writers and designers to produce events and workshops on environmental issues.

Caroline Gaudsen

Charlie Hackett

Charlie Hackett teaches at Gray’s school of art.  His practice is focused on interpreting national and localised social issues that impact on people’s lives. He engages with the public through socially engaged arts methods through collaborative artworks. He has an interest in how people communicate their ideas and views through visual methods and uses visual methods as a way of opening up areas that are difficult to communicate verbally.  Charlie completed research with Glasgow Centre for Population Health that looks at alcohol and young people and their transition to adulthood, authoring a book, Alcohol: through our eyes.

picture of charlie Hackett at work Barack Hussein Obama

Fergus Connor

Fergus Connor originally trained at LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art). He returned to education as a mature student, graduating with a fine art degree in photographic and electronic media (first class, honors). He has a broad range of experience across community, education, cultural and business sectors and has used critical & contextual, theatre, photography and film making skills in varying degrees across his practice. Professional roles include (in alphabetical order) actor, adult literacies tutor, artist, arts development officer, community activist, filmmaker, local authority councilor, offender learning lecturer, office manager, photographer, photography lecturer, stone mason, volunteer and youth engagement coordinator.

fc walk fergus connor

Gemma Connell

Gemma Connell is a Multi-disciplinary Artist, Curator and Creative Producer, based in Montrose. As a Dance Artist, she has worked with hip hop theatre Godfather Jonzi D, whilst her individual artistic practice has evolved to form a blend of hip hop, contemporary dance and collaborations with spoken word. Having curated Flow! – a series of open stage dance and spoken word events across the UK – for the past 5 years, Gemma is now focusing on creating her own solo dance theatre and live performance work which responds to spoken word and recorded conversations inspired by a wide range of communities.

Torry 24 Photo by Francesco Sani Gemma Connell Photo by Ian Abbott

Jane Ronie

Jane Ronie is a fused glass artist and tutor based in Aberdeen.  She is, in the main, self taught with the foundation of her learning coming from participation in a fused glass class in the Aberdeen City Council’s Creative Learning Programme.   Jane also has a degree in philosophy.   Jane is particularly interested in encouraging and exploring the creative potential which she believes exists within us all.  She recently completed an intergenerational project which involved 40 primary six children making a fused glass leaf in response to the question:  ‘what makes a good life’.  Jane is going to be training to become a facilitator of P4C (Philosophy for children, colleges and communities) in 2016, and is very much looking forward to using the Community Out of Bounds Programme to enquire about art and philosophy in the community.

Jane at Work Jane Ronie Final Tree

Katarina Chomova

Katarina Chomova is a fine art painter from the Czech Republic. She graduated from Gray’s School of Art, RGU in 2012.  Her paintings sit between reality and dream-like imagery. She has been interested in spaces around her, places visited and also the idea of abandonment and how it affects the space. For Katarina, the whole matter of painting becomes about the process and resolution. It is about her inner sense and own judgement involved in evaluating the progress of the piece.  Her time is split variously between arts studio, part time job and freelance arts tutoring.   Katarina is currently experimenting with silk painting in her new Wasps studio and looking into ways she can incorporate it into my practice.

Kat in her studio. Dec 2012 Broadford Works I. 136cm X 120cm, mixed media on canvas, Katarina Chomova, 2014

Kirsty Russell

Kirsty graduated from Gray’s School of Art in 2013 and currently lives and work in Aberdeen. She is a print and object maker, and recently her practice has evolved to include collaborative and project based working. Last year Kirsty co-founded Temporary Studio, a project that aims to utilise underused spaces in the city to provide space for artists and other creatives to share, produce and develop their practice.

kirsty Russell.png

Merlyn Riggs

Merlyn Riggs lives in Kemnay and works in both the city and the shire. She graduated from Gray’s School of Art in 2008 with a first class degree in Fine Art Sculpture. Her practice is indeed concerned with sculpture, but not in the traditional sense; it is concerned with Social Sculpture. Her art can be termed as Social Engagement. This means that she is concerned with how we live our lives. Merlyn is currently back at Gray’s studying for a Master of Fine Arts degree.

meryln 4 merlyn 2

Natalie Kerr

Practice Manifesto:

Be brave! – Meticulously prepare to play the character – Engage – Be Patient, give it the time it needs to be authentic, invest in it, create that atmosphere you know oh so well – Stay calm, controlled and truly responsive.

The notions of exchange and negotiation focus heavily in Natalie’s practice. Her participatory art practice involves her working with a variety of people, places & organisations with a strong focus on responsive, event based engagements. She has been actively involved in group exhibitions across Scotland and continues to explore the notion of collaborative working as an artist.

Natalie Kerr photo Natalie Kerr practice

Saule Zuk

Saule Zuk is a visual artist who works with photography, mixed media and performance art. Her process requires exploring non-urban landscapes to find natural materials, such as clay, sticks, seeds, and red ochre. She uses the body and primal materials to make practical and metaphorical connections. Her practice focuses on establishing these connections with the natural environment, creating new modes of engagement. Saule joined the Community Out of Bounds programme to explore her creative practice within a community context.  Saule earned a Hon BA degree from the Glasgow School of Art, prior that she was studying photography in London. She currently lives and works in Glasgow.

SauleZukPortrait From Body to Land And Back Again

Stéphanie Vandem

Stéphanie Vandem’s semi-abstract figurative work focuses on human emotions and private ‘inner worlds’, exploring how relationships and personal feelings can be understood through body language, further emphasised by the absence of facial features.  Inspired by the large compositions of the Renaissance period, the award-winning artist continues to search for her own ‘voice’ through large and powerful compositions, creating images that aim to touch the viewer at an emotional, intellectual and aesthetic level. Brazilian by birth and educated in Paris, London, New York and Florence, she brings a variety of influences to her striking work, be that in her portraits or more thematic projects. Having started her career as a Costume Designer in London, she has lectured in Child Cognitive Development, been a school and college teacher and project manager to many community projects, including the successful Community Art Centre: Scene on the Green. The artist is a keen advocate for the integration of ‘creativity’ to all areas of life and education and has worked in New York, France and the Cayman Islands before settling in the North east of Scotland.

Steph Vandem 02 Steph Vandem 01

Jonathan Baxter
Jonathan led the Arts & Communities programme. You can find out more about his work here:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s