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45 - Russell Pepper

By Ryan McLeod

Russell is currently doing a PhD on community renewable energy systems and works from Fleet Collective. We chat about his journey to Dundee and how he created Dundee’s first street art trail Open/Close. Russell admits himself that he’s not very ‘creative’ but he enjoys facilitating others creativity and making projects happen. The co-working environment in Fleet Collective really spurred him on to start the Open/Close project and we had the people here to help him make it happen. Backed by funding from the Place Partnership and the Cultural Tourism Fund Russell commissioned 18 artists to paint doors all around the city centre. Not on the high street or the beaten track but down the amazing hidden alleyways and closes of Dundee. I was involved in helping to create the trail, the printed maps and the online presence to allow the project to flourish. It’s actually astounding the amount Russell managed to achieve in such a short space of time and how the trail is moving towards self-sufficiency. Russell is now hosting tours on the first Saturday of each month to take you round the doors and give you a little insight and history about the area. It’s all done on a pay what you want basis. This project is a real testament to what Fleet Collective does. Allowing people from completely different backgrounds to collaborate and create brilliant projects. During our chat we talk about how we should just get out and speak to people more rather than depending on the internet for the answers. I think it’s true in Dundee that because our creative community is so small, the answers are out there in the form of people. There’s a drive to help make things happen and everyone is keen to get involved. I’m so impressed by Russell’s ability to pull of fetch project in such a short space of time but I’m also really encouraged by Dundee’s acceptance of street art. Hopefully this will lead to a more and more pieces that are bigger and bigger and bring our city to life. For more info on this week’s sponsor sponsor The DCA Print Studio head to: cccdundee.com/dca Open/Close Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/openclosedundee/ Open/Close Website - http://openclosedundee.co.uk/ Open/Close Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/openclosedundee/ Buy a trail map in any of these places around the city centre: DCA McManus Galleries This Way Up Visit Scotland Tourist Information Office Quirky Coo Butterfly Cafe BrewDog Dundee Lorraine Law Madigan’s Tea Emporium The Bach Ozzys iartsupplies SPeX PisTOls Fleet Collective: http://www.fleetcollective.com/ Annie Marrs: https://twitter.com/anniemarrs?lang=en Katie Guthrie: https://www.behance.net/katieguthrie Painted doors Aberdeen: https://www.facebook.com/painteddoorsabdn/ Quirky Coo: https://www.quirkycoo.co.uk/ Adam Breckons intern at Fleet and Open/Close logo designer: https://www.instagram.com/adambreckons/ Mary Anne Lane: goo.gl/BC2bYL Strawberry Bank: https://goo.gl/my4NCH Gary Grubb Jewelers: https://goo.gl/4k9dmS Eagle Mill Dundee: https://goo.gl/ep1rrf Stobsfest: https://www.eveningtelegraph.co.uk/fp/organisers-gear-dundee-festival/

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