142 King Street, Aberdeen

In all the years that I have walked along King Street it was not until November of 2017 that I noticed this historic house hidden behind a rusty padlocked gate. From the gate I could see Doric pillars and neglect.

This is 142 King Street which was the family home of John Smith, Aberdeen’s first City Architect. The garden of his house once stretched down towards the north sea. But the architect and his family died and it was his rival, Archibald Simpson who has been remembered.

142 King Street then became the Aberdeen Ophthalmic Institution. When this closed in the 1950s the property became the Boilermakers Social and Recreation Club.

The motto above the door to 142 King Street survives “HUMANI NIHIL ALIENUM” this translates as “Nothing touching humanity do I account outside my interest”.

This film is for Dr John Flaxman (who also features briefly)

Music credits:
(1) ‘Unguarded Moment’ – by The National Jazz Trio of Scotland

(2) EL VY: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert


This film is not really a film,
it is story, not a narrative.

It about now and then
and no time.

It is about the seen and the unseen;
the observed and that which 
passes us by.

This film celebrates paradoxes
and unguarded moments.

Magpies, curators, scientists, artists, philosophers, etc
may struggle to make sense of time,
yet we find this ‘struggle’
to bring incredible m e a n i n g 
to our life,
being and becoming.