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Miniature men storm Old Town House

Roman legionnaires will cross swords with Gordon Highlanders today when a new exhibition opens at Aberdeen’s Old Town House.

A figure from the Innuit hunting display (Photo: John McKenzie McIntosh)A host of unusual encounters will take place at Maximising Miniatures – an exhibit bringing together dozens of tiny treasures from Marischal Museum with models created by Aberdeen's Games Workshop and local collector, Scott Murdoch.

Two Inuit hunting displays and a Roman Republican army will be among those fighting for attention. Other painted war game figures – including Gordon Highlanders acting out a skirmish during the Battle of Waterloo – also feature.

Painting and gaming workshops will be run by the Games Workshop during the course of the exhibition, when visitors will be able to ready their own miniatures for action on the play table.

'Landscape', an unusual piece by award-winning Dutch artist Levi van Veluw, will also be on display. It comprises a video of the artist displaying a miniature landscape, featuring tiny trees and farm animals, on his own upper body.

The exhibitionhas been organised by Dr Petra Tjitske Kalshoven, an honorary research fellow in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen.

She said: "I'm very interested in the relationship between people and the objects they make, collect, and cherish. Some miniatures start out as toys or souvenirs and end up as collectors' items while others get displayed as family heirlooms or make it into museums."

Photo: John McKenzie McIntoshPetra was able to collaborate with Aberdeen's gaming community on the project after receiving a cultural engagement grant from the University.

"Gamers visiting the Games Workshop aren't likely to associate their hobby with anything happening in a formal museum setting," said Petra. "And museum professionals may not be aware of the knowledge and skill that go into contemporary war gaming.

"However, gaming is an increasingly popular hobby that draws on a large variety of historical and fantasy figures, and painstaking research goes into getting a model's appearance spot on. In the exhibit, we wanted miniature models from the University's collection to stand shoulder to shoulder with contemporary displays set up especially for the occasion."

Neil Curtis, Marischal Museum's Senior Curator, added: "Putting familiar objects in new contexts gives them new meanings. Behind every miniature on display, there is a community of makers, collectors, and users who breathe life into it."

Maximising Miniatures runs until November 15, 2008 at The Old Town House, Mon-Sat, 9am-5pm. Entry is free. On October 21 and 23, the Games Workshop will run painting and gaming workshops among the exhibits. To sign up, send an e-mail to maxmin@abdn.ac.uk. Participation is free.

As access to the upper floors of the Old Town House is limited, people with restricted mobility should contact Marischal Museum (01224 274 301) before visiting.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

Issued by the Communications Team, Office of External Affairs, University of Aberdeen, King's College, Aberdeen. Tel: (01224) 272014.

Issued on: Thursday 18th of September 2008

Ref: 257MINI

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