Ryan Hannigan

Designer & Painter

Aberfeldy-based designer and painter Ryan Hannigan has been nominated as a Perth Pioneer for his work organising the annual Aberfeldy Festival and his work as lead designer at Haggart’s 1801 printmaking and tweed shop. We met with Ryan and discovered how he embodies the creativity, ambition and vision that’s driving Perth’s bid for City of Culture.

Ryan originally grew up in Northern Ireland during a drought on creativity, making his unlikely journey to creative entrepreneur even more inspiring. As an adult, Ryan graduated with a degree in sculpture and began expanding his skills in drawing, painting, printmaking and woodcuts.

In 2005 he opened the Temple Art Gallery in Aberfeldy to display his works, some of which had been showcased at the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh. He later took over as the lead designer at Haggart’s made-to-measure tweed shop, just a few doors down from his gallery space, where he began displaying his prints and sculptures alongside quality traditional tweeds.

In his spare time Ryan organises the Aberfeldy Festival, into which he has poured an enormous amount of effort since its inception.

“There was a local group… and they we’re trying to get businesses together in the area to make a difference… so I thought why don’t we do something creative? Why don’t we put our heads together and come up with something that might really benefit the area?  So I had this concept for a festival, not strictly music, an arts event.”

Ryan went on to explain how performing in his band Star Wheel Press led to an endorsement from a rather surprising fan.

“I’m also in a band and Ian Rankin believe it or not is a fan of that band, so I got in touch with him and I asked him to help me curate the festival. So every year he comes and we have a chat, what bands in Scotland are doing well?

So a lot of those bands are from without, we’re bringing them to you – although they will be Scottish based or have a connection at some point to us.”

Aberfeldy Festival draws an eclectic mix of visitors from across Scotland and beyond and is now entering its seventh year.

“I think a lot of people who come here feel that there’s an energy in it, especially in November for the festival. Colours are changing and there’s this vibe, but it’s fed by the art colleges… there’s the music that goes on in Perth College and there is this energy that happens when you can get people here. When people get here is has a hook into you.”