Perth Vennels Reinvented!

April 24, 2018 by Perthshire Creates

Arts event will bring Perth’s historic vennels to life for one day only

A 12-hour arts event in the centre of Perth will see the city’s historic vennels play host to some innovative installations, music and poetry.

Eight local artists will transform the vennels for one day only with installations, video art and street art. Called ReCAP (Re: Contemporary Arts Perth), the event runs from 10am to 10pm on Saturday 5 May and is designed to encourage the public as well as other artists to imagine Perth and its public spaces differently.

There will also be food, drink, poetry and music performances taking place in Guard Vennel, a disused public space off Mill Street near Perth Concert Hall. Local musician Craig Lithgow and spoken word artist Rana Marathon, who featured prominently in the recent contemporary arts event Platform Festival, are among the performers.

Both ReCAP and Platform have been organised by Culture Perth and Kinross, which runs the region’s museums and galleries. CPK wants to use ReCAP to not only highlight Perth’s public spaces but also give the region’s younger demographic a say in the future of those spaces.

CPK has set up a steering group for local people aged 18 to 25 and is working closely with Perth UHI students as part of ReCAP, which features the artwork of several of the college’s students.

Perth architect Fergus Purdie RSA, a co-curator of ReCAP, has a track record of looking at the connections between architecture and art, regularly exhibiting artists’ work in his studio window. Commenting on the project Fergus says:

“ReCAP is an exciting and inspiring project that provides a great opportunity for local participation. I hope this will encourage everyone to see and use these, sometimes forgotten, public spaces differently. This event, done in a unique and fun way, will explore our city’s heritage and future potential.”

Co-curator and artist Susie Johnston adds:

“We received excellent proposals from artists, musicians and poets living and working in Perth and Kinross who will all be working towards CPK’s vision of animating this wonderful city. ReCAP will give plenty opportunities for public feedback and voices to be heard about what people want in Perth.”

Poppy Jarratt, ReCAP’s producer at Culture Perth and Kinross, said:

“I love that ReCAP will be a ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ thing. The brief is that artists install in the morning and remove that evening, and that the next day there is no sign of any of it. Throughout the event we’ll be collecting feedback from the public in quirky ways. People can leave messages on a chalkboard wall in a vennel and also tie their messages to a tree.”

Culture Perth and Kinross are keeping tight-lipped about the artists’ actual installations, however. Helen Smout, CPK Chief Executive, said: “We don’t want to spoil what is going to be a fabulous array of art and a really interesting twelve hours for Perth.”

For more information on Culture Perth and Kinross visit