Project Background


Aberdeen market is a space that has been in continual change since first being built in April 1842. Burnt to the ground in 1882, and then brought from the ashes again into an iconic building in local terms, it was subsequently demolished to make way for the current building erected in 1972. A once central destination for local shoppers, the market now feels hidden, even obscure: a place of childhood memory for many, and overlooked by the majority who shop in the newer, bigger spaces that have come to overshadow it. And yet within its walls is a vibrancy and feel that is unique in the city, and this vibrancy is brought by a diverse group of traders who have made the market, in a sense, a second home. It is a micro village - a community serving a community. 

Trading faces is a project aimed at highlighting this unique space, and the people - the traders - who give Aberdeen market its own unique sense of place. In a rapidly changing city, we wanted to capture this diversity in images and story, and in celebration of the market before it too, succumbs to the pressures of development and change, and is lost to memory. As part of the Look Again Festival we would invite you to ‘become a tourist in your own city’ by meeting its people, hearing their stories, and seeing an iconic building in Aberdeen city centre through fresh eyes.

The research stage of this project was funded through Creative Funding application, Aberdeen City Council.

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