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Half of Turner Prize-winning artist’s new exhibition opens at DCA

March 4 2017

A new exhibition of work by Turner Prize-winning Mark Wallinger has opened simultaneously at Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA) and The Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh. MARK WALLINGER MARK is split into two parts and will be shown in both venues until Sunday 4 June. It is the first exhibition in Scotland by the artist and features Wallinger’s most recent body of work: the id Paintings (2015-16). These are presented alongside a series of sculptures, films and wall-based works which further explore the themes of identity, reflection and perception addressed in his new work. In the Dundee half of the exhibition, 12 of Wallinger’s id Paintings surround a new work, Self (Symbol) (2017), a capitalized ‘I’ aggrandized as a three dimensional statue the height of the artist. The id Paintings have grown out of Wallinger’s extensive series of self-portraits, and they reference the artist’s own body. His height – and therefore his arm span – is the basis of the canvas size. They are exactly this measurement in width and double in height. Wallinger described the paintings as the basis of both the Dundee and Edinburgh exhibitions. "There are different works in the two spaces, but these are the starting point, or spine if you like," he said. "There is quite a lot of work around the idea of identity and my presence." Video pieces are also included in the DCA gallery, including Shadow Walker in which the artist filmed his shadow walking ahead of him. In MARK, a 2010 creation, Wallinger chalked the title all over the city of London within the parameters of single standard-sized brick. This deadpan tagging is rendered as a photographic slideshow, made up of 2,265 images. A mirrored TARDIS is also on display in the exhibition. Wallinger said the development of Dundee had been notable in the time since he first visited the city to prepare for the gallery. "I came up here about a year ago to look around and think about how this show might be hung. "There has been so much work, lots of work, on the V&A since then. It looks amazing already - I quite like it as it is." Beth Bate, director of DCA, said: "We’re delighted to be welcoming Mark Wallinger to our galleries and to be working alongside The Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh in this compelling exhibition of two parts. "Mark's first show in Scotland features his new body of work, the enigmatic id Paintings. "We can’t wait to welcome audiences to this exciting exhibition." MARK WALLINGER MARK is a collaboration between Serlachius Museums, The Fruitmarket Gallery, and the DCA.


Council Election 2017: Coldside (Ward 4)

April 25 2017

Coldside is Dundee’s most central ward, covering the Hilltown, the Law, Fairmuir, The Glens and the Dudhope areas. With the recent refurbishment of the Law hill paths, signage and a visitor website being created, it is hoped that more visitors and tourists will venture into this area. A recent community survey showed that local residents would welcome more local attractions, including affordable activities for children and young people. Although not unique to Coldside, drug and alcohol abuse was identified as a topic of concern, with residents saying they would like to see more local services for addicts, as well as people with mental health issues. Despite its central location, the area is said to need better transport links including more frequent bus services in the evening. Residents have complained of feeling unsafe in certain streets after dark, making them reluctant to walk in the evenings. In recent years, Coldside has also seen a spike in people suffering from food poverty and unemployment, leaving them with no option but to ask for food parcels from food banks. Residents said they’d like to see more job clubs, work experience opportunities and better paying jobs city-wide. The selection process for election candidates has not been without controversy this year. Current councillor Mohammed Asif has spoken out about his shock after being deselected by the Labour party, and is now standing as an independent candidate. Labour’s candidates are Helen Wright, who is running for re-election, and George McIrvine. The SNP is putting forward Mark Flynn and Anne Rendall, with the Scottish Lib Dems also fielding two candidates – Kristopher Hall and Christopher McIntyre. The Scottish Green Party’s candidate is Conor Marshall, with Duncan Shaw representing the Conservatives. In perhaps a sign of the times, relatively new local party Dundee Against Cuts are also pitching a candidate – Wayne Scott. In total there are ten candidates fighting it out for four council seats.   Candidate profiles The Courier invited each candidate to submit a short introduction to themselves and, if they wished, a video explaining why they deserve your vote.   Mohammed Asif (independent) Mohammed Asif has been a councillor for Coldside for a decade, and has raised his family in the area. He said: "After a decade as a Labour councillor, I have decided to stand for re-election as an independent candidate for three main reasons: I will not be bound by party lines, constituents expressed humbling support for me to re-stand, and I have thoroughly enjoyed this role. "I have played my part in holding the administration to account and acting as an advocate on your behalf. "My priority has always been jobs for our people and investment for our city. Dundee faces great challenges in the years ahead, but vast opportunities as well. "All of our communities must feel the benefit of any regeneration and growth that comes to Dundee."   Mark Flynn (SNP) Raised in Kirkton and Whitfield, Mark Flynn trained to become a research technician at Dundee University. He now works within the scientific equipment sector for a major company and continues to live in the city. Married for 32 years with three children, one grandson and another grandchild on the way, he has a keen interest in all sports, particularly football. He said: “As a hard-working activist of the SNP and local committee member, I am keen to see Dundee continue to improve with SNP policies. “I want to see living standards in this ward and city improving. If elected, I will give the ward a strong voice within the council to help achieve this.”   Kristopher Hall (Lib Dem) Kristopher Hall is one of the Scottish Liberal Democrat candidates for the Coldside ward. He is aged 21 and from the Downfield area. Kristopher was educated at St Paul's Academy. He is currently studying mechanical engineering at Dundee University and works at a local retailer. Kristopher has been a member of the Liberal Democrats for two years and has campaigned on several local issues.   Conor Marshall (Green) Conor described himself as “a passionate advocate of the transformative power of excellent education”. He added that he leads on this work nationally in his role as vice-president communities of the Scottish National Union of Students, as well as locally in Dundee as Abertay University's student president. Conor wants to “roll up his sleeves” and get to work on Dundee City Council to make sure that schools aren't failing the young people of Dundee. Beyond that Conor is leading on a housing campaign to tackle the “poor conditions that plague Dundee's private rented sector” - from overcrowding to illegal evictions. Conor said he was determined to tackle rogue landlords head-on “using the powers that Dundee Council has but seldom use”. The housing campaign is also working towards ensuring all new and existing housing developments in Dundee provide adequate council homes in the area and to bring down “unacceptable waiting times to access these”.   Christopher McIntyre (Lib Dem) Christopher McIntyre is one of the Scottish Liberal Democrat candidates for Coldside ward. He is a fourth year student of geography and environmental science at Dundee University. Chris is active in UK Scouting and has volunteered within the City of Dundee on many occasions. Chris is active in youth work having worked on many major youth orientated projects over the years and is also an active member of Dundee Liberal Democrats.   George McIrvine (Labour) George McIrvine has worked in policing for over 30 years latterly in criminal intelligence with the last seven years as branch secretary with UNISON. George has lived in Coldside most of his life and grew up during the 70/80s on the Hilltown and was schooled at Our Lady’s and St John’s High School. George said: “I know more than most the impact of budget cuts to public services as I am currently witnessing brutal cuts in Scottish policing and the adverse affect it has on staff and officers and ultimately the service delivery to the public. “Local government is starting that same journey of year-on-year cuts and I want to play my part in defending key public services in the city like education, health and social care and the workers who deliver these.”   Anne Rendall (SNP) Anne Rendall was brought up in the Wellgate area and then moved to near Dens Road. She still lives in Coldside. Beginning her career at DC Thomson, working her way up from a sub-editor to editor of Jackie, Anne then pursued a career in marketing and has worked in several large organisations in Dundee, both private and public including Dundee City Council, the James Hutton Institute (formerly Scottish Crop Research) and NCR. She said: "I currently work as communications officer for Chris Law MP and Joe FitzPatrick MSP. "In this role I have gained a further insight into the work of the council and been inspired to do what I can to improve life in our city through listening to all those who live and work here."   Wayne Scott (Dundee Against Cuts/TUSC) Wayne Scott is a young manufacturing worker who lives in the Hilltown area of Dundee. A member of the GMB trade union, Wayne has been involved in campaigns against the "bedroom tax", cuts to council services and workfare and in support of the rights of young workers. As part of the Youth Fight for Jobs Campaign, Wayne helped organise the Stirling to Glasgow youth march for jobs in 2012. In 2011, Wayne organised a strike of school students from his school, Harris Academy, against cuts to education. Wayne is calling for massive investment in public services to create well paid jobs and apprenticeships. He says this would give vital opportunities to young people in a city where youth unemployment stands at 20%. He is a member of the Socialist Party Scotland.   Duncan Shaw (Conservative) Duncan Shaw is the Scottish Conservative candidate for the Coldside ward in the upcoming local elections. His family has lived in Dundee for over 100 years and continue to live in Coldside. He said: “If I were to be elected, I would make sure that there is more parking available and public transport has more destinations available from your local bus stop. "I would also work hard with local police to crack down on speeding motorists and anti-social behaviour in the area. “Most importantly, I would make sure your voices are heard and your concerns are taken care of.”   Helen Wright (Labour) Helen Wright has been a councillor since 1980 and describes herself as an effective, caring and hard-working councillor who has the experience, the commitment and a proven track-record of getting results. She says she works tirelessly to help resolve problems for her constituents, holds up to eight surgeries a week and works closely with local people and community groups to make improvements in the ward and throughout the city. Helen is particularly proud to focus on issues affecting our older citizens and young people. Helen said: “I look forward to continuing to serve the people of the area and to build upon all we have achieved together. “Community safety, older people’s services, housing and environmental improvements will continue to be a priority for me in the ward. Jobs, health and social care, education, public services and social justice will continue to be the priority in my city-wide work”.


Missing Dundee man found safe and well

March 30 2017

A Dundee man posted missing has been traced safe and well. Christopher Jones,42, was reported missing after vanishing from Dundee’s Pitkerro Road at around 9.45am on Wednesday. Police launched a social media appeal to trace Mr Jones and confirmed on Thursday evening that the 42-year-old has been traced.  


Local and international stars to take to the stage at Dundee Jazz Festival

October 8 2016

A range of local and international artists are set to perform at this year's Dundee Jazz Festival. The line up for the annual event has been announced, featuring a wide selection of musical genres and acts. As well as traditional jazz, blues rock, hip-hop and swing will also be on the cards at venues across the city centre. Highlights include double MOVO award winning saxophonist and rapper Soweto Kinch at The Reading Rooms and Dundonian Gordon McNeil at the Dundee Rep. Agnese Daverio, festival producer, said: "We are delighted to invite so many great international and local musicians to play in Dundee, from the likes of American Nikki Hill and Aaron Diehl to Dundonians Gordon McNeil and Vardo. "We’re also very excited about our new collaboration with the Reading Rooms, and our return to the Rep for the late jazz night session. The Gardyne Theatre remains our core venue with its great acoustics, comfortable seating and easy parking. This year we’re presenting more activities in the city centre with the aim to grow the festival further in the years to come. "We’re hoping to engage with a wide range of people from the local community, from older generations to younger music fans, hence our programme is very varied and presents a different flavour every night – from edgy sounds by rapper/saxophonist Soweto Kinch, to rootsy rock by Nikki Hill and classic jazz tunes from the swing era presented in the Story of Swing by the Scottish Swing Orchestra. "As jazz is a term that umbrellas over many different styles of music, we are presenting Jazz in the Ferry, an afternoon packed of great music, during which eight bands will be taking the stage across five venues, and where audiences can freely roam between sites with a rover ticket. "This event is also great for those who are not quite sure whether jazz is for them or not, as it gives them the opportunity to explore and sample different genres at once." The event takes place from November 16-20. Tickets are available online or through the city box office, with some bookings available through individual venues.  


Volunteer pilots promise to keep searching for missing teenager Ralphie Smith

March 6 2017

Volunteers are taking to the skies to search for missing teenager Ralphie Smith who fell from Arbroath cliffs last month. The 18-year-old has been missing for 9 days, and Police Scotland has called off its rescue efforts. However, the UK Civil Air Patrol Scotland (UKCAPS) has since begun its own operation across North East Fife and the Tay. Archie Liggat, the chief pilot with UKCAPS, said they were committed to continuing to search for Ralphie and would scan the waters off Dundee, Angus and Fife throughout the week. Mr Liggat said they weren't there to help the emergency services, but rather the communities and families affected by a missing person. He added: "We are only interested in humanitarian activities. We only assist to help the community - if the police or fire service benefit from it then that's just a side effect. "We are there just to help the communities. "The family were very enthusiastic that we would continue the search. "We will continue looking and we are planning another sortie on Monday and another couple through the middle of the week. "There comes a time where you have to decide that something is lost. But in the meantime we will keep doing what we do." Most of the volunteer pilots in Scotland were previously in the RAF or police forces and have tens of thousands of hours' flying experience.   Mr Liggat added: "We search with the naked eyeball and we also carry binoculars so if the observer spots anything he can tell the pilot to turn and we can go back and look."   Ralphie is believed to have fallen from Arbroath Cliffs at around 1pm on Saturday February 25. The family has since faced further tragedy when two of Ralphie’s relatives – Julie McCash and David Sorrie – died the day after his disappearance as they attended a family vigil for the teenager. Two separate crowdfunding campaigns - which can be seen here and here - have raised a combined total of £7,590 to support the family during the difficult time. For more on this story see Tuesday's Courier, also available as a digital edition.


City attractions to throw open doors for national festival

May 2 2016

Dundee museums and galleries are gearing up to open their vaults for this year’s Festival of Museums. The festival, now in its tenth year, will feature over 100 day and night events across Scotland from May 13 to 15, curated to offer unique, hands on experiences in the nation’s museums and galleries. Headlining Dundee’s programme is an event at the city’s Jute Museum, where visitors will decorate the mill for Queen Victoria’s birthday celebration ahead of a film and Victoria sponge. The Verdant Works museum is also offering a gin tasting session for adult participants. The Victorian Mill will provide a dramatic backdrop to the event, providing the history of the drink and an opportunity to sample a variety of alcohol. Joanne Orr, chief executive of Museums Galleries Scotland, said: “Over the past decade, we have been able to fund and support museums across Angus and Dundee to take part and help to increase visitor numbers and sector expertise across the board. We’re delighted to return for our tenth year and are looking forward to the best festival yet.” McManus Art Gallery is also going back in time, with a 20s and 30s theme. Their free event will celebrate the era of of jazz, cinema and comic books, and feature a special screening of a short film highlighting life in Dundee in the 1930s. In addition to the Jute Museum and McManus, D’Arcy Thompson Zooology Museum is also taking part in the festival with a selection of fossil-themed events. For more information or to book a place for an event, visit www.festivalofmuseums.com


Vans visit Tayside and Fife to spread claim that BBC is “mis-reporting Scotland”

January 19 2017

Vans carrying billboards accusing the BBC of anti-SNP bias have travelled across Tayside and Fife in recent days. The large posters, emblazoned with the slogan "BBC is mis-Reporting Scotland", are currently on a tour of the country. They visited Dundee on Thursday morning, having previously travelled across Fife. Created by Inform Scotland, a group set up in the aftermath of the 2014 independence referendum, the billboards form part of a campaign aimed at what organisers see as anti-SNP output by the broadcaster and "the unchallenged lying" of secretary of state for Scotland David Mundell. In a post on the Inform Scotland website, campaigner Simon Malzer explains the reason for the billboards. He said: "The Inform Scotland campaign is not aimed at the BBC. It is aimed at people who unquestioningly believe everything the BBC tells them. By acting as a bridge, opening doors and signposting the existence of an alternative narrative to what they regularly hear or read on the BBC and in the mainstream media, we want to help more and more people break out of their cocoons into the fresh air of the vibrant, reality-based discourse that has enlightened so many people in the past few years throughout Scotland. "The Inform Scotland billboards are a means of providing that bridge. Our hope is that people go to the Inform Scotland website, click through to the wide range of articles the site signposts, and make their own minds up about whether the BBC is guilty of bias or not. "This is not some thoughtless, blind kickback against a vaguely perceived sense of injustice. It is a well-researched, organised and determined attempt to make a difference, to stand up for balance in what is meant to be an open democracy, to express our justified concern that a publicly-funded institution with a charter proclaiming impartiality and balance, can be shown to be failing in this regard. "We accept there is an element of disruption in this – direct action is meant to be disruptive. We accept that there may be greater minds than ours bent upon our common goal of independence. "Ours may be the blunt instrument approach to creative persuasion, but at least it’s an approach."


Independence rally draws large crowd in Dundee’s City Square

April 23 2017

Supporters of Scottish independence turned out en masse for a march across the Tay Road Bridge. The Fae Fife Tae Dundee event started at 11am on Saturday on the Kingdom side of the bridge, with the crowds working their way over to Dundee City Square for a large rally. Hundreds of people are thought to have crossed the bridge ahead of a rally which attracted guest speakers including Lesley Riddoch and Robin McAlpine. Other speakers included writer and broadcaster Billy Kay and Paul Cavanagh who writes as the 'Wee Ginger Dug'. Several musical guests also attended, including The Wolves, Bring in the Spirit and Kenny Martin. Supporters travelled from right across Scotland to take part in the event. The event, organised by Yes North East Fife, was held to coincide with the very first international march for Scottish independence, which was held in the Hague. The Netherlands for Scottish Independence Group organised that march, with members of the Germans for Scottish Independence group also attending. Raimond Dijkstra, founder of the Netherlands for Scottish Independence Group, said: “I have been interested in Scotland and its history my entire life. “About seven or eight years ago, I visited for the first time with my dad. And the interest turned into a love for the greatest country on earth. Then I started being active online in creating pro-independence artwork right before the 2014 referendum. “After the result, I felt gutted and felt the need to do something more. And having being politically active here in the Netherlands, I joined the SNP and have been a member ever since.” Colin MacPherson, a member of the Germans for Scottish Independence Group, said: “Our members come from all walks of life, Scots and Germans living in Germany, Scots and Germans living in Scotland. Like other groups in the Yes movement we are currently reorganising ourselves in order to be ready to do whatever we can to help Scotland on its road to independence.”


V&A works to close Perth-bound lane of major Dundee route for majority of 2017

March 20 2017

Drivers using part of Dundee Waterfront are being asked for their patience while a lane is closed for essential building works. The Perth-bound inside lane of Riverside Esplanade will be closed until the new year while external cladding and landscaping works take place at the V&A Museum of Design Dundee. Drivers using the west bound off ramp at the Tay Road Bridge will also find the inside lane closed. The closure will affect drivers between April 3 and August 4 and then again from September 25 to the end of the year. Signs warning of the lane closure will be displayed at the south end of the Tay Road Bridge, and on other approaches to the area. Meanwhile, members of the public will get their first chance to visit the construction site of the V&A. Three hour-long tours have been planned for April 1 as part of Open Doors Week. The unique opportunity to get a sneak peek of the £80.1 million building has proved popular, with all 45 tickets selling out within just hours of being advertised online. The tour is being conducted by BAM Construction, the company which has been working on the new museum for two years. A spokesperson for V&A Dundee said: “We’re delighted that the site of V&A Dundee is being opened to the public as part of Open Doors 2017, which lets people see behind-the-scenes of the construction industry. “V&A Dundee has been working with communities across Scotland since 2014 and we’ve met, talked to and designed with tens of thousands of people in that time. “Ahead of the museum opening next year it’s very exciting for the team to see how public interest is growing in the creation of a new world-class visitor attraction in Dundee.” As previously reported in The Courier, work has been progressing well on the building, with scaffolding recently removed from the external walls. The V&A is set to open next summer.


Scottish Government ready to protect jobs and boost Dundee’s employment rate, minister says

February 10 2017

The Scottish Government has provided targeted funding to Dundee businesses in a bid to promote growth, the minister for business, innovation and energy has said. Paul Wheelhouse said the government's economic development agency Scottish Enterprise was also ready to intervene at NCR in Dundee, where 30 jobs are currently at risk. The comments were made after The Courier revealed Dundee has the lowest employment rate of any city in the UK. Responding to a question from North East MSP Bill Bowman, Mr Wheelhouse said: "I understand that NCR has commenced consultation of its employees regarding the company’s future restructuring plans. "We have contacted NCR to offer support for any employees who might face redundancy through our partnership action for continuing employment (PACE) initiative. "The company has stated that it will make contact to discuss PACE support, depending on the outcome of the consultation, and I do not want to prejudge the consultation. "Through providing skills development and employability support, PACE aims to minimise the time that individuals who are affected by redundancy are out of work. He added: "As the member would expect, Scottish Enterprise stands ready to work with NCR management to safeguard employment at the Dundee site." Mr Bowman then asked for more information following The Courier's revelations on Tuesday surrounding employment rate statistics. Mr Wheelhouse responded: "Companies such as NCR, Tokheim and Michelin Tyre have been success stories for Dundee, and we have provided funding support to key employers in Dundee through the Scottish Enterprise account management process in order to ensure that we have targeted help for companies as they grow or as they take on new market challenges. "I assure Bill Bowman and other members who have an interest in the economy of Dundee that the Scottish Government is very sincere about supplying support to key employers in the area. He added: "I take such matters very seriously. If examples of them arise, PACE and our wider Scottish Government family of enterprise and skills agencies are there to intervene and help." Speaking separately about the employment rate figures, Mr Bowman, the Scottish Conservative spokesman for jobs, employability and training, said: "We need action at all levels of government to tackle low employment in this area and get more people into work. "This is not a problem that is confined to Dundee, however, with unemployment rising across Scotland in the last quarter at a faster rate than in the rest of the UK. "The Scottish Conservatives have made it clear that SNP plans to make Scotland the highest taxed part of the UK are not helping employers or the wider economy. We have also encouraged more investment in apprenticeships and vocational training. "The Tay Cities Deal is very much focused on job creation, but we will need to see more detail on exactly how the proposals will address unemployment in the short term, particularly in key areas such as manufacturing."