Evening Express “Artist Nicole Gives Own Take On Canvassing” by Esther Beadle

Prospective voters in the independence referendum have been captured on canvas. North-east artist Nicole Porter began the painting, measuring more than two metres in length, back in September 2012. The former Ellon Academy pupil was delighted to finally unveil the finished artwork at her self-titled gallery.
Nicole, 27, will display the work at her King Street base, but hopes that one day it might be exhibited at Holyrood.
She said: “It would be a dream to see it hang in the Scottish Parliament. It’s a historical painting to capture a moment in time.”
Nicole, who studied in Norway, Paris and New York called on people living near her gallery, close to Pittodrie, to sit for the artwork.
It shows the six locals emerging from polling booths having cast their vote in the September ballot. Among them are Callum McGregor, whose granny lives nearby, next door barber Abdul Suliman, and schoolgirl Selina Pope, who was given art tuition by Nicole for her Higher exams. The mum-to-be is Judith Wallace, a collector of Nicole’s work, while the couple Margaret and Bob Cowe, are Nicole’s next-door neighbours. Nicole said: “I wanted to paint people I knew, because you’re able to get a better sense of them as a person. I’ve used a bit of artistic license by including campaign posters in there, but I wanted it to be clear it was about the referendum, which – no matter which way it goes – is one of the most important things to happen to Scotland.”

Press and Journal “Artist presents her picture of Scotland on September 18” by Nicky MacBeath

A pregnant woman with her son, a solitary businessman, and a young woman texting friends – these are some of the faces portrayed in Aberdeen artist Nicole Porter’s latest work about the independence referendum.

The 7ft x 4.5ft portrait, which was unveiled at Miss Porter’s King Street gallery yesterday, features six ordinary people outside a polling station, going through the process of voting Yes or No.

The artist, whose notable works include a portrait of the former Bishop of Liverpool and the Don the Dolphin sculpture for the Wild Dolphin Project, said: “I just think that it’s such a big decision for everyone in Scotland that, as an artist, you can’t help but want to comment on it or be part of it, and encourage people to think about how they’re going to vote.”

“I deliberately picked the people that are in it because I wanted to represent the diversity of Scotland, different ages, genders and cultures, so it was important to show that.”

The models used for the portrait are Miss Porter’s friends and neighbours, who volunteered to portray some of the people who will have a say in the upcoming referendum.

Miss Porter said: “The image depicts everyone coming in and out of the polling station, which is what everyone is going to have to do come September 18, so I’m hoping that it is going to maybe hit home to people that they are going to be in this situation and they are going to have to decide what they are going to vote.”

In a recent TNS poll, almost a third of voters admitted they still had not decided how to vote.

York University student Selina Pope, who was born in Aberdeen, can be seen using her phone at the front of the painting.

She said: “This piece is something that I think everyone can relate to and it’s got some more subtle concepts, like the pregnant woman representing the impact on future generations.”

Aside from the young boy hailing Scotland with his Saltire cape, the faces in the portrait are inscrutable, and the viewer is left to question how their votes will be cast on the day.

Miss Porter said: “It is too big an historical event for people not to partake in.”

The painting echoes this statement with a message to viewers: “Please do not sit on the fence.”

Evening Express “Don The Dolphin To Paint The Town Red” by Esther Beadle

A dolphin has dived straight into the wave of Dons fever as Aberdeen gears up for a city-wide arts exhibit this summer.

The Evening Express can give an exclusive sneak peak as the statue is decked out in red and white for the Wild Dolphin project.

Artist Nicole Porter, whose gallery is barely a stone’s throw from Pittodrie, is painstakingly picking out the finer details of the football-focused flipper.

The 26-year-old said: “We’ve called him Don the Dolphin and given him the number 12, because that represents the fans.

“If they go on to win the other cup in May then I would have to incorporate that in there too.

“I want to get the Peter Pawlett Baby lyrics on there and also some sheep on fire.”

It is expected the dolphin may be displayed somewhere near the stadium, but exact details of where each dolphin will go are still to be finalised.

Nicole added: “With my gallery being based near Pittodrie, on Saturdays the streets are full of supporters dressed in their scarves and hats.

“It seemed like the perfect one to do.”

Nicole, who normally works in oils, has been building up six layers of acrylic paint on the statue, to make sure it will be protected from the elements.

It will then be varnished before going on display as part of the Wild Dolphins art trail this summer.

For 10 weeks the streets of Aberdeen will be decorated with brightly coloured dolphin statues.

At the end of the run, the artworks will then be auctioned for charity, with cash divided between the ARCHIE Foundation and WDC Whale and Dolphin Conservation.

The Wild In Art scheme, which has taken other cities across the globe by storm, normally see football-related statues pull in the highest prices at auction.

Nicole said: “Wild Dolphins is such a good idea.  It’s great to have something so different in Aberdeen,

There will be about 50 statues all over the place. The city needs to get behind it.

“I’m already really excited for it happening this summer.”

Press and Journal “Out With The Auld Turned Into New Art” by Ann-Marie Parry

Old canvas of famous city artist is completed by family friend. 

It could be a misty day in the Granite City, with a pink dawn about to usher in another day.  But we will never know exactly what this canvas was supposed to look like because it was started by one of Aberdeen’s best-loved artists Eric Auld, who died on Christmas Eve last year.

In January, his wife Pat gave some of his materials, including three blank canvases, to gallery owner and family friend Nicole Porter.  Miss Porter found that one of the canvases already had some marks of coloured paint on it, and asked Mrs Auld if it was OK to finish it.

“Two Artists One City” is a powerful combination of bright colours, paintings by Mr Auld, and a grey sketch of the city that he loved by Miss Porter.

Miss Porter, a former Ellon Academy pupil, said: “The painting was at that really exciting stage and I couldn’t stop thinking about what Eric was going to do.”

“I had no idea so I decided to do something that would pay tribute to him and what he was known for.”

She first met Mr Auld when she was an art student in Dundee and worked part-time at the Carby Art Gallery n Aberdeen, which has since closed.

In 2010, when Miss Porter opened her own gallery in the city’s King Street, the pair became friends and she later painted his portrait in 2011.

She added: “I did not want to talk away from his colour and so I used grey oil to paint one of the views from St Nicholas House.”

Miss Porter has given the painting back to Mrs Auld but it will remain at The Nicole Porter Gallery with an exhibition of Mr Auld’s art until the end of April.

Contined… Nicole ensures artist’s legacy lives on.  Throughout his life, as a teacher and as one of Scotland’s best-loved painters, Eric Auld endeavoured to encourage young artists and nurture their talents.

His death last year was marked by warm praises from admirers in his native Aberdeen and around the world.

But perhaps the most fitting tribute has now been unveiled by Nicole Porter, who had added the final brushstrokes to the last canvas he was working on and shown how his legacy will live on through a new generation of artists.

Press and Journal “Artist Putting Big Question In The Frame” by Kenneth Watt

A north-east artist is trying to capture the significance of the independence vote on canvas. Nicole Porter, who runs her own gallery in Aberdeen’s King Street, has ben working on it since September 2012. The 6ft-long scene, which features six voters leaving a polling station, is her way of recording the importance of the referendum. She said: “This is too big an event to miss. I like the idea of the painting almost capturing the historical sense of it.” The artwork is far from complete, as Ms Porter wants to fit in every detail from both the Yes and No campaigns. “I’ve deliberately not made the painting either ‘for’ or ‘against.’ The six different people will all have their own opinions. I want the painting to be more about capturing the event and not necessarily the result.”

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