University unveils Aberdeen-inspired artwork by leading artist

A new artwork inspired by the granite and industry of Aberdeen has been unveiled at a temporary home in King’s Conference Centre at the University of Aberdeen.

Quarry, a new sculpture in polished stainless steel by Ayrshire-born, Hong Kong-based artist Kirsteen Pieterse, has been brought to the University through the generosity of an anonymous donor living in Australia.

The artwork will eventually be housed in the new University library once it opens in autumn 2011.

The donor wished to contribute a work of art to the new library, and is a particular admirer of the work of internationally-acclaimed, prize-winning artist Kirsteen Pieterse, who was present at the unveiling.

Explaining the inspiration for her work, Kirsteen commented: “A relative living in Aberdeen had described to me the Rubislaw Quarry and the role it had played in the growth and prosperity of the communities of northeast Scotland. I have used mirror-polished steel plates to represent the surface of the quarry as it is now, filled with water, with the sub-structure representing the ‘engineering’ of the layers beneath from where the granite was extracted to build the ‘Granite City’. This rises upward to symbolise the installations of the North Sea oil and gas industry which has transformed the city in the last 40 years.”

Professor Ian Booth, Chair of the University Art Committee, expressed the delight of the University in receiving Quarry, saying: “This truly inspirational piece reflects the our past, present and future aspirations for this region. It has been a total pleasure to work with Kirsteen, and we are proud to have engaged the vision and creativity of such an internationally-respected artist who has so uniquely connected our communities and shared heritage with the vision and design of our new University library.”