Creative Christmas Cheer - Oh Yes It Is!

by Thorpe Molloy Recruitment

10th December 2013

Art by local youngsters is on display at one of Scotland's finest historic theatres in Aberdeen this month.

Following a successful multi-million pound renovation, the self-portraits by secondary school pupils will be exhibited at the city's stunning A-listed Tivoli Theatre, coinciding with the venue's first pantomime for more than 50 years - oh yes it is!

Audiences attending the pantomime and theatre visitors will be able to enjoy "My Future Aspirations", an imaginative exhibition which encourages pupils in Aberdeen city and shire to create a self-portrait which expresses their career hopes for the future.

Over 150 pupils took part from 20 schools including, for the first time, a school from Houston in America.

This year's winner was first year pupil Abby Cartney from St Margaret's School in Aberdeen who aspires to be a vet (centre of photo). Kathleen Cowie, Head of Art and Design at St Margaret's School for Girls, said: "Abby responded to the 'My Future Aspirations' brief in a very creative way.

"She learned about illustration techniques and a range of book binding methods in class and decided on the direction her book should take. Abby's resulting concertina book is well made and imaginative and clearly tells us about her future aspirations."

The competition has proved very popular with local schools since it was launched by Thorpe Molloy Recruitment five years ago, but as well as celebrating artistic talent, it offers interesting insight and a unique snapshot to the career aspirations of local children. Hundreds of entries received since its launch have portrayed ambitions to be engineers, scientists, cabinet ministers, dancers, designers, farmers and much more.

Competition judge Karen Molloy explained, "Our competition dispels the myth that young people have no ambition and that "celebrity" is their most popular career choice. They actually dream of achieving successful, challenging careers which contribute to society."

While Dundee based artist Tracey Smith, another of the judges, commented "I was impressed by the diversity of the work submitted for the exhibition. It was encouraging to see so many young artists developing visual communication skills as well as experimenting with ambitious concepts and media to create their artwork in response to the brief."

Thorpe Molloy Recruitment was delighted when one of Aberdeen's cultural landmarks, the Tivoli Theatre, offered to display its annual exhibition. The 141 year old Grade A listed building was recently rescued from disrepair thanks to the ardent efforts of owner, Brian Hendry and support from the local community.

Brian explained, "The brief for this exhibition really caught my attention. We are proving that dreams and aspirations come true at the Tivoli and I also believe that artists and business people should grab opportunities to work together for mutual benefit as they often complement each other through creativity and innovation."

In addition to the judges' winner, members of the public also voted for their personal favourite via social media in The People's Choice and this year's winner who aspires to be a swimmer and a photographer is Aleksandra Kabat from Oldmachar Academy.

The top 12 self-portraits feature in Thorpe Molloy's Recruitment's 2014 calendar and reproductions will be displayed in Marischal College, Aberdeen airport and tour around the region's secondary schools.

To view the exhibition, visit the Tivoli Theatre throughout December or visit Photos from the opening evening at the Tivoli can be found in our facebook albums at

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