An award-winning local artist is hoping to put down fresh roots in Dundee after submitting plans for a new city centre studio to local council planners.
Islay Spalding, a Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design (DJCAD) graduate known for her jewellery and kilt pins, wants to set up shop in a former office above Sportsterz on Ward Road.
Inside she would hope to create a bespoke jewellery centre for up to four jewellers to work from – with Ms Spalding hoping to attract other local artists to work in the space.
The artist – who painted the Dazzle Wullie sculpture sponsored by V&A Dundee for the Oor Wullie Big Bucket Trail – also has designs on creating an exhibition space and rooms for freelance graphic designers and picture framers.
A planning statement, submitted on her behalf by Ness Planning’s Nicola Drummond, promises that the space will make a positive contribution to the city centre.
“The proposal will expand the range of facilities on offer within the city centre boundary and will contribute towards establishing a vibrant city centre,” it states.
“This will secure use of a vacant commercial unit with a niche, high quality jewellery outlet, open to the general public for retail of the made pieces of jewellery.”
Ms Spalding’s plans have the support of Annie Marrs, lead officer of Dundee’s Unesco City of Design team, who says the studio would make a “significant contribution” to the city’s design scene.
She added: “This development would support the city’s creative economy to further grow, add capacity to over subscribed existing studio provision, and instil confidence to professional practitioners looking to grow their business in Dundee.
“A development which seeks to support jewellers by providing city centre studio space is exactly the type of activity which must be welcomed and supported if Dundee is committed to being a thriving, successful, international city.”
Planners have until October 2 to make a decision on the proposal.