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Motoring news

Audi’s new Q cars

April 12 2017

Another week, another new Audi. Two new Audis, in fact. The German car maker has announced a couple more additions to its Q line up of SUVs. The Q4 is a coupe-SUV hybrid that will go up against the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe. As its name suggests, it’ll be positioned between the compact Q3 and bigger Q5. At the other end of the scale is the Q8, which will go head to head against the Range Rover. It’s lower and sleeker than the Q7 Audi is also producing. In concept form, it sat only four people, although it seems likely the production version will be a five seater. There’s a 630 litre boot as well. Eagle eyed Audi followers will notice the only SUV slots left to fill are the Q1 and Q6. Watch this space...

Business news

Workshops on starting a business

January 4 2013

Budding business owners in Dundee have the chance to learn new skills in a series of free start-up workshops this month. Business Gateway’s new year sessions have been designed to provide anyone interested in starting a new business with the information they need to get their venture up and running. Delivered by experienced business advisers, the sessions will cover issues including viability, planning, market research, legal structures and tax. The workshops run throughout the month at Business Gateway Dundee, City Quay.

Angus & The Mearns

Gingerbread tribute to the Wee Red Town

October 14 2013

When Libby Jones was invited by Bank Street Gallery owner Susie Clark to exhibit at her gallery in Kirriemuir, she became intrigued by the history of the town. As well as Kirriemuir’s most famous son and Peter Pan author JM Barrie, she discovered the town had also been home for a time to AC/DC singer Bon Scott, Victorian mountaineer Hugh Munro, and 19th century writer Violet Jacob. She found the town had been a hotbed of witchcraft in the 16th century and is also world famous for its gingerbread and decided to combine all these elements. Ms Jones went on to craft a boxed set of prints, which also doubles as a card game. She said: “This tongue-in-cheek edition of 10 boxes, of 20 cards per box, features Kirriemuir characters presented on a slice of gingerbread on a plate. I have also made a poster featuring all the 10 characters in the game.” Visitors can see images of Edinburgh Castle with fireworks, wildlife such as gannets, and artwork made after a visit to Antarctica. Londoner and master printmaker Ms Jones exhibited work from her sub-zero stay at a Discovery Point exhibition in Dundee last year. Children can see her work Cooking the Climate, a comment on global warming, which consists of a microwave oven and slideshow with rotating polar animals. There is also a fossilised mobile phone in a second installation, Fossils of the Anthropocene an exploration of the traces that might remain of civilisation in 50 million years’ time. She is also exhibiting a selection of her woodcuts, linocuts, collagraphs and screenprints at the gallery. The exhibition runs until November 8 and opening hours can be found on www.bankstreetgallery.org, or by telephoning 01575 570070.


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.

Angus & The Mearns

Meffan exhibition tells the story of Angus and the Great War

September 10 2014

The outbreak of the First World War and its effect in Angus is being marked in a new exhibition in Forfar. The exhibition uses iconic objects, artworks, poetry and slideshows to tell the history of life in the trenches, The Black Watch and of local recipients of the Victoria Cross. Visitors to the Meffan Museum and Art Gallery can also view a selection of war drawings by Sir Muirhead Bone, who was appointed Britain’s first official war artist in 1916. Photos by Kim Cessford.


V&A Museum’s £45 million budget ‘can’t and won’t change’

April 4 2011

The team behind the project to deliver the V&A in Dundee has "categorically" denied speculation that it is on course to overshoot its £45 million budget. Responding to rumours in some quarters that the flagship museum on the banks of the Tay is on course to overspend, a Dundee University spokesman said the budget was set and it won't change. Dundee University is one of the partner organisations of Design Dundee Ltd, the body leading the project. The university spokesman confirmed, "People are saying we can't build that building and come in on budget. But the £45 million budget is the one line that's been drawn in the sand. The budget can't change and it won't change whatever we end up with it will have cost £45 million." The V&A at Dundee designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma will sit on the River Tay as the jewel in the city's new waterfront development. The building encloses 6230 square metres including gallery and exhibition spaces, offices and social areas. Galleries one and two which will host exhibitions provided by the V&A for the first two years can be used separately or joined to accommodate large-scale exhibitions. Gallery three will showcase Scottish designers, demonstrating the country's creative capabilities, while gallery four will focus on Scotland's historic and ongoing influence on the world of design. The university spokesman added, "It's categorically, absolutely not the case that it's on course to overshoot its budget. "All six architectural entries were externally assessed to check that the costings were accurate and realistic. The Kengo Kuma design then underwent a further external assessment before it was chosen. "The Scottish Government Gateway Review gave us a clean bill of health and part of the ongoing refinement work is about keeping an eye on costs to make sure they don't spiral out of control. "As far as we're concerned, the speculation is totally unfounded and we're moving on with positive momentum." Construction work is due to begin in spring next year and should be completed in late 2014, with an anticipated opening date of early 2015.

Road tests

Audi Q2 puts quality over size

March 21 2018

Audi’s Q2 was one of the first premium compact SUVs on the market. It sits below the Q3, Q5 and the gigantic, seven seat Q7 in Audi’s ever growing range. Although it’s about the same size as the Nissan Juke or Volkswagen T-Roc, its price is comparable with the much larger Nissan X-Trail or Volkswagen Tiguan. Even a basic Q2 will set you back more than £21,000 and top whack is £38,000. Then there’s the options list which is extensive to say the least. My 2.0 automatic diesel Quattro S Line model had a base price of £30,745 but tipped the scales at just over £40,000 once a plethora of additions were totted up. Size isn’t everything, however. In recent years there’s been a trend of buyers wanting a car that’s of premium quality but compact enough to zip around town. It may be a step down in size but the Q2 doesn’t feel any less classy than the rest of Audi’s SUV range. The interior looks great and is user friendly in a way that more mainstream manufacturers have never been able to match. The simple rotary dial and shortcut buttons easily trounce touchscreen systems, making it a cinch to skim through the screen’s menus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eQ5p5Z7-Ek&list=PLUEXizskBf1nbeiD_LqfXXsKooLOsItB0 There’s a surprising amount of internal space too. I took three large adults from Dundee to Stirling and no one complained about feeling cramped. As long as you don’t have a tall passenger behind a tall driver you can easily fit four adults. At 405 litres the boot’s big too – that’s 50 litres more than a Nissan Juke can muster. Buyers can pick from 1.0 and 1.4 litre petrol engines or 1.6 and 2.0 litre TDIs. Most Q2s are front wheel drive but Audi’s Quattro system is standard on the 2.0 diesel, as is a seven-speed S Tronic gear box. On the road there’s a clear difference between this and SUVs by manufacturers like Nissan, Seat and Ford. Ride quality, while firm, is tremendously smooth. Refinement is excellent too, with road and tyre noise kept out of the cabin. It sits lower than the Q3 or Q5 and this improves handling, lending the Q2 an almost go-kart feel. On a trip out to Auchterhouse, with plenty of snow still on the ground, I was appreciative of the four-wheel drive as well. The Q2 is expensive – though there are some good finance deals out there – but you get what you pay for. Few cars this small feel as good as the Q2 does. Price: £30,745 0-62mph: 8.1 seconds Top speed: 131mph Economy: 58.9mpg CO2 emissions: 125g/km

This student took his Tinder profile to the next level by turning it into a PowerPoint presentation

February 21 2018

Standing out from the crowd on Tinder can be tough, but with the help of Microsoft PowerPoint a British student has managed just that – and gone viral in the process.Sam Dixey, a 21-year-old studying at Leeds University, made a six-part slideshow entitled “Why you should swipe right” – using pictures and bullet points to shrewdly persuade potential dates to match with him on the dating app. The slideshow includes discussion of his social life and likes, such as “petting doggos” and “laser tag”, and “other notable qualities and skills” – such as being “not the worst at sex” and “generous when drunk”.It even has reviews mocked up from sources such as “Donald Trump”, “Leonardo Di Capri Sun” and “The Times Guide to Pancakes 2011”.Sam told the Press Association the six-slide presentation only took about 20 minutes to make and “started off as a joke”.However, since being posted to Twitter by fellow Tinder user Gracie Barrow, Sam’s slideshow has been shared tens of thousands of times across social media.So, it’s got the seal of approval form Gracie, but how has the slideshow fared on Tinder? “I’d have to say it has been pretty successful,” Sam said. “Definitely a clear correlation of matches and dates beforehand to afterwards.“Most of the responses tend to revolve around people saying ‘I couldn’t help swipe right 10/10’ but I’ve had some people go the extra mile and message me on Facebook.“Plus some people have recognised me outside, in the library and on dates.”A resounding success.


Virtual flights over St Andrews to take off on Sunday

May 13 2016

Visitors to St Andrews will be able to take a virtual flight over the town this weekend thanks to new drone technology. 360° video of the town has been captured by drones, and will be projected through immersive, virtual reality headsets for people to enjoy. The project, entitled Let’s Take Flight, is part of a day of activities organised by Fife photographer Kit Martin and St Andrews University students. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIGLkvtZNE8 The event coincides with an exhibition entitled Skyward: a Study in Flight which is on display in the Gateway Galleries until Sunday. Skyward was curated by postgraduate students from the museum and gallery studies Masters degree and tells the story of Professor James Bell Pettigrew’s quest to build a flying machine in St Andrews over a century ago. The exhibition also features winged specimens from the university’s natural history collections alongside a series of cyanotypes and photographs by Kit. Kit will also show visitors how to make cyanotapes, a centuries-old form of photography, on the day. Alice Sartori, a student behind the event, said: “Come along to the Gateway Galleries and have fun with our activities. If art and flight are your cups of tea, Let’s Take Flight is an event you can’t miss.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Odggk_K6qs The special event is part of the national Festival of Museums and the virtual flights will be available on Sunday between noon and 4pm. Fellow student, Catherine Anne Cassidy, added: “Every visitor will have the chance to try virtual reality, which is very exciting. The content has been created just for the Festival of Museums and is absolutely breathtaking.”

Business profiles

Carving out a solid career

May 24 2017

A passion for woodwork led Frazer Reid to start his own furniture making business, FAR Cabinet Makers, four years ago. The 26-year-old works out of a studio on Lohton Farm, Fife. Q What does your business do? A I’m a bespoke furniture maker and wood artist. I also run build your own wooden surfboard classes on demand. Everything I make is to commission and no job is too big or small – from jewellery boxes to dining tables I can make it all. Q Why did you start in business? A I’ve always had a passion for woodworking and decided I would attend the inter-national Chippendale School of Furniture, after working for two years and saving the money to do it. After completing the course – and winning portfolio of the year – I knew I had to set up my own business. This allowed me to do what I love every day, creating beautiful pieces of furniture. Q How did you get to where you are? A Lots of hard work. It was a steep learning curve starting my own business. I am now coming into my fourth year of business and things are starting to go really well. I have built up a clientele and good commissions are coming in as well as selling artistic pieces I have designed myself. If anything this is making me work harder to expand and grow my business. Q Who has helped you along the way? A The Prince’s Trust and Business Gateway Fife have helped me from the very start and their continued support is greatly appreciated. I’ve also benefited from Business Gateway’s full-funded workshops that cover all aspects of business. My parents have also given me a great deal of support and help over the years; I don’t think I could have done it without them. Q What was your biggest mistake? A When I started I thought I would be able to do it all myself and quickly realised I couldn’t. I had no idea how to run my own business but help from The Prince’s Trust and Business Gateway Fife focused my mind and I was given a start-up loan to buy essential machinery. Q What is your greatest achievement? A Winning Small Business Sunday with Theo Paphitis earlier this year which gave me a huge social media boost. I also got to meet Theo Paphitis at the winner’s conference. I have learned some valuable lessons from listening to his talk and from Deborah Meaden who also spoke at the event. Q Hopes for the future? A I hope to have a larger workshop with a gallery in the front and a team of people working for me. Q Do you want to recruit in the future? A I would like to take someone on eventually, maybe a few years down the line. Q What is the hardest thing about running your own business? A Getting my work seen and getting my name out there. It’s a lot more than just making a piece of furniture and hoping someone will come along and buy it, there are hours of social media advertising and emails to galleries as well as driving around to drop pieces off. Q Any advice to wannabe entrepreneurs? Go for it. There is so much help out there for people looking to start up from the likes of Business Gateway Fife and the Prince’s Trust, and so many people are willing to help. It is daunting starting out, but make a clear plan and look for all the help you can.