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Artists Take Over Victorian Market Hall

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An artists’ collective working in collaboration with Inverness’ historic Victorian Market will present a new exhibition across a series of empty shop units in the Market Hall daily to 20 December.

Circus Artpsace are curating their “Super Market” group exhibition and have invited 18 artists to take inspiration from the market’s history, paying tribute to the wide variety of former shops and previous tenants.

The exhibition will feature a series of window commissions and film works alongside children’s weekend workshops delivered following Covid-19 guidelines.

Circus Artspace is a collective of Inverness based artists established last June after a successful crowdfunding campaign.

The Super Market exhibition will be Circus’ first opportunity to show work in public since lockdown in March and they hope it will attract footfall and draw a younger audience to the market in the run up to Christmas.

Inverness based artist Sadie Stoddart, who is transforming Rattray’s Joke & Novelties Shop, said:

“This is an amazing opportunity for artists, everyone in Inverness has some connection with the Victorian Market from childhood memories to favourite shops, and we want to celebrate that history.

“It is a real honour to be exhibiting some of my art work within the iconic Nancy’s joke shop, a family business that’s been trading for over 40 years.

“Keeping with the theme of the space I will be filling it with paper plants, papier mache tools and hopefully a bit of humour.

“I hope my work does this much-loved space justice.”

Victorian Market Manager, Jo Murray, said:

“It has been great to collaborate with Circus Artspace and I am delighted that we have been able to host this event to showcase their creative work in the city centre.

“The hall is about to change but in the final weeks before the development starts we hope to bring some cheer and support to the existing businesses still trading in this area, namely Svetlana haberdashery, Inverness Denture Design and Double T.

“To recognise and appreciate some of the previous tenants and past history is very fitting.”

This exhibition is able to take place in the Market Hall before Highland Council starts its ambitious refurbishment in January 2021.

Originally known as the Fish Hall, at the back of the market near the Church Street entrance, it was famed for its long cold marble counter with wonderful fish displays and the centre part was occupied by meat and game traders.

The development will see the biggest change in the Market Hall in several decades and it will be transformational.

Provost and Leader of Inverness Area Cllr Helen Carmichael said:

“The development will support independent businesses and architecturally, open the space up to expose the feature Victorian roof above.

“Our new tenants will be mostly local food operators, which fits into the original use of the Hall, to create a destination that should attract more investment to the city centre.”

The Super Market exhibition will be open daily to 20 December, 12 – 4pm, for more info visit www.circus.scot.

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