20th May 2021

I was raised in Peterhead. My family is still based there, so I’m a regular visitor, though I’m now based elsewhere. I try and limit my use of Doric when I’m at work in London, to make sure I’m understood, but I’m constantly throwing in Doric words and phrases – my colleagues are always thrown by that, and often want to understand what the words and phrases mean and where they come from. I’m really proud of my Aberdeenshire heritage and love the dialect, which gave me an idea for a new art project.

I spend a lot of my spare time making art – papercuts, portraits, abstract paintings and drawings, wildlife pictures, etc, in ink, acrylic, watercolor, and in paper art. Most recently, I’ve launched a series of greeting cards and prints that pay homage to the Doric dialect, taking popular types of greeting cards (birthdays, congratulations, graduation, etc) and finding Doric phrases that fit the occasion – the first set of designs range from ‘Happy birthday ma quine!’ to ‘Ken iss! I’m jist richt chuffed for yi!’.

I’m working up a second set of designs at the moment and working on a set of art prints featuring Doric phrases. I’m also taking commissions for bespoke pieces. The beauty of it is that everyone with an Aberdeenshire connection has a strong bond to the language and particular words and phrases that mean something to them, so it feels like the range of pieces could be really broad while also being really meaningful for people. I’m excited about it!

Joanna Bain 

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