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Aberdeen Harbour inspired artist wins Royal Society approval

Aberdeen Harbour inspired artist wins Royal Society approval

Kate Steenhauer has a wondrous eye for detail and a rare ability to bring the history and heritage of Aberdeen to life in her studio.

As someone who works in the maritime industry, Kate is in love with the milieu of the city's shipyards and harbour area.

And now, the award-winning artist has had two pieces from her recent Shipyards of Aberdeen series selected for the prestigious Royal Society of British Artists annual exhibition, which is being held at the Mall Galleries in central London from 11 to 21 March.

The project has highlighted the hustle and bustle of daily life at Aberdeen Harbour in a series of ten stunning artworks.

They have captured her imagination - as one suspects they will the public's gaze - and a couple of the series have been chosen from thousands of entries to appear in the showcase.

  (Charlie Innes.com)
via STV via STV

Kate, who was born and raised in Holland, is the principal engineer with Aberdeen-based naval architecture and marine engineering firm Tymor Marine.

She spent three-and-a-half months last summer focusing her artistic talents on capturing the activity at the harbour for the Shipyards series.

What started as a single pencil sketch grew into a set of 10 drawings, each taking between 20 minutes and two hours to complete.

These were then transformed into etchings; a process that required the images to be scratched, in mirrored form, into copper plates.

After two or three weeks building and fine-tuning the image, the copper plates were ready to create a limited run of ink prints. Every aspect of the process has been carried out by Kate.

  (Charlie Innes.com)
via STV via STV

Kate said: “To have two pieces selected for the Royal Society’s annual exhibition is brilliant.

"It will be wonderful to see one of Aberdeen’s landmarks lined up alongside other artworks from across the UK. Aberdeen has many beautiful buildings, but I was looking for something different to draw and the harbour provided it.

"There was so much happening and, on my first visit, I spent about two hours just watching, drawing and letting the composition change over time.

“Unlike a photograph which captures a specific moment, a drawing evolves as things happen.

"I became hooked on what was happening at the quayside and kept returning.

"Soon I was attracting the interest of curious skippers and boatmen asking for copies of my work."

  (By Dexterwas on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dexterwas/)
via STV via STV

Kate continued: “There is definitely an element of design in my job at Tymor Marine.

"I work on models for structural analysis, offshore surveys and anode designs and inshore wave analysis.

"Maybe the idea for the artworks came from this.”

‘Shipyards of Aberdeen’ is Kate’s most recently completed work, but her previous pieces have been exhibited locally and nationally.

She has also won various awards, including the respected Royal Scottish Academy Award 2013.

  (Charlie Innes.com)
via STV via STV

Art has always been a passion of Kate’s, whose artistic skills were honed in the Granite City after she completed her PhD in coastal engineering at the University of Aberdeen.

During the past four years, she has received tuition and guidance from several local artists, including George Collier, Lyndsey Gibb, Nicole Porter and Michael Waight from Peacock Visual Arts.

And Tymor Marine has given Kate space within its offices to use as an art studio.

The end results testify to the power of the harbour to evoke resonant, emotive slices of life.

For more information on the Shipyards of Aberdeen artworks, visit Kate's website.

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