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Deveron Projects

The Town Is The Venue
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The Caravan Gallery / Jacques Coetzer

Aberdeenshire Ways


Local character' is thus no mere accidental old-world quaintness, as its mimics think and say.

Patrick Geddes

A collaborative project about regional identity

To discover those specifics of our place, Aberdeenshire Council and Deveron Projects embarked on an exploration with artists The Caravan Gallery and Jacques Coetzer, who visited all the neuks and crannies of our Shire through a 6 week long road trip in 2013. 

The Caravan Gallery and Jacques Coetzer started in Ballater, the birthplace of visionary botanist-turned-urban planner, Patrick Geddes (1854-1932) who advised us to "think globally and act locally". By foot and road, under his influence, they visited cove towns and fishing ports, commuter places and market towns, gathering up the colours of the land, the global and local heroes on the way.

Aberdeenshire Ways was a project exploring the identity and uniqueness of the region through its people, colour and ways of life.


From Ballater the team took a circular route following the River Dee past Banchory all the way to the North Sea; then continued through the Aberdeenshire farming heartland back to the foothills of the Cairngorms past the rivers Don and Deveron. Throughout the tour, Aberdeenshire Ways visited: Huntly, Ballater, Tarland, Banchory, Laurencekirk, Inverbervie, Stonehaven, Westhill, Inverurie, Ellon, Peterhead, Fraserburgh, Banff, Portsoy, Turriff, Lumsden and Alford.

This project was commissioned by Aberdeenshire Council's Be Part of the Picture programme in collaboration with Deveron Projects. 

Patrick Geddes (1854-1932), best known today as a town planner, was a keen observer of nature. Even in the Victorian era of intense industrialization Geddes acknowledged our spiritual connection to the land and encouraged people to spend time outdoors and grow local food.

Geddes' philosophy was firmly rooted in everyday reality and recognized the importance of economic wellbeing. In his analysis of the landscape, human activity merged organically with the geography that supported it. His definition of "region" harmoniously integrated nature conservation with farmland, industry, city, port, fishery and ocean. 

Jacque Coetzer first collaborated with Deveron Projects in 2008 on the project Room to Roam, a considered brand for Huntly, looking at both Huntly's physical and more spiritual opportunities.

The Caravan Gallery were in Huntly in the summer of 2013 to work on their Pride of Place Project, recording the ordinary and extraordinary details of everyday life in Huntly.


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