Robert Gordon University (UK) Gray’s student draws inspiration from Aberdeen’s iconic Kelly’s Cats

Dozens of feline sculptures will go on display this weekend in Gray’s School of Arts’ Look Again Project Space, as part of a new exhibition called EDITIONS.

The miniature sculptures are the work of 3D Design student, Laura Price, one of 19 third year 3D design students from Gray’s School of Art, who is part of a dynamic exhibition featuring jewellery, ceramics and glass and product design.

Aberdeen based Laura, has been inspired by Aberdeen’s iconic Kelly Cat and has created over 10 sculptures, each hand finished and glazed in granite dust from the city itself.

Laura said: “I’ve been really inspired by the unique symbolism and connection of the leopards to Aberdeen. They play such an important role in the city’s heritage and are such an iconic feature on Union Bridge.

“I wanted to create a design that would pay tribute to Kelly’s Cats and the role they play in the city. The leopard has been a heraldic symbol in Aberdeen’s history for centuries, they even have pride of place on the city’s coat of arms, on the Bon Accord shield. I was really intrigued with all the leopard symbolism around Aberdeen with Andy Scott’s sculpture in Marischal College being one of my favourites.

“I wanted to celebrate this unusual feature in my work and to give a modern twist on the intrinsic part they play in our city’s culture. I was lucky to be able to use Gray’s amazing ceramic facilities and the art school’s 3D scanning and 3D printing equipment, which helped me create multi-part moulds to slip cast individual sculptures.

“When I looked into it further and realised this historical significance, I really wanted to create something that reinforces the connection between Aberdeen and the leopard. The focus on Aberdeen tied into the theme of our exhibition so it was a direct path for me to follow. I also love cats and have two cats of my own, so it was a good excuse to do something feline within my studio work!”

3D Design lecturer and course lead, Ben Durack, said: “We are very lucky to be one of the only art schools in Scotland to offer ceramics as a dedicated specialism. The development of ceramic practices and other 3D specialisms can have such a positive impact on staff, students, alumni and the wider creative community and we’re keen to share our talents with as wide an audience as possible through this exhibition.

“Laura’s work draws inspiration from one of the city’s much-loved icons and I’d encourage members of the public to come along to see for themselves these special feline Silvery City Cats!

“The exhibition will also feature a host of other talented students including an engaging selection of jewellery, ceramics and product design including ; hand thrown vessels that take inspiration from our beaches, wood fired ceramics, beach inspired silver jewellery, playful jewellery inspired by famous children’s toys, sculptural wellbeing products and 3D printed lighting.

“EDITIONS has been curated by the students themselves and is an important part of their journey as emerging designers, preparing them for their degree show in their fourth year.”

EDITIONS launches on Friday 9 December with a special opening event from 6- 8pm and runs over the weekend, 10 and 11 December, 11am – 4pm, in the Look Again Project Space, 34 St.Andrew’s Street. Admission is free.