A former butcher's shop in Ayr will be transformed into a piece of immersive art as internationally renowned Scottish artist Rachel Maclean brings her latest project to the seaside town.

Like many across Scotland, the South Ayrshire town has seen a decline in its town centre in recent years, with the High Street named the second worst in Scotland in 2017.

A survey of Which? consumers who had visited in 2022 named Ayr Scotland's least favourite seaside destination, based on hotel prices, beaches, seafront/pier, food and drink, and accommodation.

Billed as "a timely response to the crisis facing many high streets across the country", Ms Maclean's installation takes the form of a surreal toy shop where nothing is for sale.

The Herald:

Occupying a former butcher's shop which had lain vacant on Ayr High Street, Don’t buy Mi transports audiences into Rachel Maclean’s dark imagination and features her animated film upside mimi ᴉɯᴉɯ uʍop.

Toy dolls are piled upside-down in the window display with posters advertising ‘nothing must go’ and ‘don’t buy mi’, in a witty, haunting and satirical exploration of consumerism, politics and identity.

The immersive installation is free for the public to experience from 22 September to 24 December 2023, and is presented by JUPITER+, Jupiter Artland’s nation-wide art and creative learning programme that commissions artists to transform public space.

Read More: Ayr town centre has troubles but tourism and retail pluses

JUPITER+ has taken a second unoccupied retail unit in Ayr Town Centre, converting it into a green screen film studio and flexible creative learning and event space.

Over 2023 and 2024, the Ayr-based Youth Council and Jupiter+ team will work with school groups from Ayrshire and beyond at these studios, producing a series of film-works exploring the change young people want to see in their communities.

As part of this, every high school Ayrshire is being offered the opportunity to participate in green screen workshops and create their own short films. The aim is to inspire the next generation of artists in Scotland by providing free workshops, mentorship and training opportunities in digital and creative skills that will empower young people to be the architects of their own futures.

Nicky Wilson, founder and director, Jupiter Artland, said: “We are so excited to bring JUPITER + to Ayr which supports our aims to offer every young person in Scotland an opportunity to enjoy, experience and create artwork, and to access the opportunities that the creative industries can open up.

"We are delighted to welcome Rachel Maclean to reimagine her ground-breaking work for Ayr, introducing her distinctive creative voice to a new audience and to deliver our most ambitious free learning programme to date, powered by our remarkable group of young people the JUPITER+ORBIT Youth Council.”

Dubbed JUPITER+AYR, the venture has been made possible by a creative partnership between Jupiter Artland, South Ayrshire Council, Ayr Gaiety Theatre, University of West of Scotland, Edinburgh Napier University, SCAN and Engage with the support from The National Lottery through Creative Scotland and the Barcapel Foundation, as well as schools and colleges across the region.