Adaptation: Redesigning the Everyday
Various Artists @ Peacock Visual Arts

Adaptation, Peacock Visual Arts' contribution the Six Cities Design Festival, looks into the impact of design in everyday life.

A group of international artists including Adams (Copenhagen), Akay & Made (Stockholm), Brad Downey (New York), Brett Bloom and Bonnie Fortune (Chicago), Marjolijn Dijkman (Rotterdam) and Dominic Hislop (Berlin), have been invited to show and make work about and in reaction to design in daily life. The work ranges from subtle alternations of street furniture and other interventions in public space to creative uses of waste, to documentation of earlier work in the gallery and to video projects.

In addition the gallery will show the 'public embroidery kit' by Ulrika Erdes (Malmö) and documentation of her cross stitching performed on seats in buses and trains in Sweden. A compilation of video documentation by Leopold Kessler (Vienna) shows highlights of his projects in public space: attired in blue collar outfits and armed with a toolbox the artist subtly alters street furniture, such as clocks and street-lamps, confusing the public with a smile.


Brad Downey, who lives in New York, will kick off the series of projects in Aberdeen. His work provides a subtle, yet mischievous response to street furniture and signs, and their structuring of public life. Not immediately recognizable as art to the passer-bye, they disrupt daily routine in an amusing, yet thoughtful manner. In addition to new work in the city space, Brad will present a new film of spontaneous street acts and give a talk about this work, providing the background stories to the visuals.

Adams works in public space without permission. Over the years his work has come to be more and more hidden. His most recent projects are site-specific clandestine constructions in the streets and beneath. "Taking place - Owning space" shows photographs from nine places in Stockholm where Adams changed the padlocks, making them accessible for the public by placing the keys in hollow books at the public library.

Akay & Made from Stockholm, two thirds of the APA collective are right now making plans for Aberdeen.

Artists and activists from Chicago Brett Bloom and Bonnie Fortune will scavenge and organise materials from the waste streams of Aberdeen to create a nature simulacrum of plant life in public places. The project will draw attention to the city's consumption patterns with mobile installations made from the found materials and a booklet with drawings and written descriptions. This project continues Bloom and Fortune's collaborative investigation of creative material use and the natural world.

Focusing on how one particular space in Aberdeen works, Scottish artist Dominic Hislop, who lives in Berlin, hopes to move into Aberdeen Market for a week. He wants to interview people there about their working life there and their use of the space. He will use this material to produce a video, which he would like to show in the market.

Dutch artist Marjolijn Dijkman will connect issues around design to wider themes of local contexts and their representation in her publication and lecture/presentation 'Theatrum orbis Terrarum' (Theatre of the World). Dijkman has been researching the human creation of space, 'making photographic registrations of specific locations and characteristics of space'.

Associated Events

Artist's Talk by Brad Downey, Thu 10 May, 6 - 8pm
Artist’s Talk by Marjolijn Dijkman, 'Theatrum orbis Terrarum,' Tue 12 June, 6 - 8pm


The booklets produced by some of the artists as part of their work will be complemented by a publication about all the artists’ work and with documentation of their new projects in Aberdeen.

The Six Cities Design Festival is a project developed and managed by The Lighthouse, Scotland’s National Centre for Architecture, Design and the City, and is funded by the Scottish Executive.