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Dundee gallery owner’s mission to ‘make Keiller Centre great again’

Gallery owner Kathryn Rattray is on a mission to make the Keiller Centre great again.
Gallery owner Kathryn Rattray is on a mission to make the Keiller Centre great again.

A Dundee gallery owner has laid out her plan to make the Keiller Centre great again.

Kathryn Rattray hopes to make the shopping centre a place people want to visit by putting local artists’ work on display.

The owner of Kathryn Rattray Gallery will operate the Keiller Centre space under the name of The Federation #krg.

She plans to let local artists take over the space and let their ideas drive the exhibitions.

The first show is opening on Saturday.

Ms Rattray says: “I’m just really enthused by the Keiller Centre, I can’t wait.

Gallery owner Kathryn Rattray.

“The Federation came from the idea of different areas coming together to work under the same ideology.

“I’m operating the gallery, but allowing other people to take over and put their mark on it.”

Re-energising the Keiller Centre

The Keiller Centre venue will be a non-commercial gallery aiming to generate footfall and interest in art.

By showing local art in the Keiller Centre, Kathryn Rattray hopes to re-energise the city centre site.

Ms Rattray wants to create a platform for emerging artists to show their work.

“I’m looking to forge real links between DJCAD, schools and colleges across the city as well as individuals,” she says.

“It’s really important to create a space where artists can take over and show their work, because there’s nowhere in the city doing that.

“My hope is to then attract more people into the Keiller Centre. Maybe even start to re-energise the vibe in there and make it great again.”

The photographer fell in love with the space inside the centre when she worked on the Dundee Design Festival in 2019.

The Keiller Centre during Dundee Design Festival in 2019.

The centre has gone through a huge transformation since its heyday in the ’70s and ’80s.

While getting The Federation #krg exhibition ready, Ms Rattray has also housed another show at The Vine on Magdalen Yard Road.

Exhibitions planned for months

Kathryn Rattray Gallery was based at Meadow Mill but moved out at the end of last month after a dispute with the neighbours.

The gallery owner says she only has good memories from her five years at the site.

“I have a lot of love for the gallery at Meadow Mill, because it’s taught me so much,” she says.

Kathryn Rattray Gallery was based at Meadow Mill for five years.

“It also shows the importance of being able to pivot when there are problems in business or when something happens.

“The legacy that came out of that gallery is what has enabled me to approach people and make things happen.”

Mr Rattray plans to host exhibitions at both the Keiller Centre and The Vine going forward.

Works by painter Arlene Peters are on show in The Vine.

While the Keiller Centre aims to be more accessible to generate interest, The Vine will host solo shows and fine art.

Painter Arlene Peters is currently exhibiting in The Vine before a Break the Bias show takes over on Saturday.

In April, Fife artist King Creosote will take over the Keiller Centre and there is a full programme of events planned for the next four months.

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