Aberdeen is being cast in a new light this weekend as the SPECTRA festival of sound and vision gets underway.
The city’s streets, parks and cemeteries have been transformed into interactive, illuminated and inspiring spaces with the work of some of the world’s most forward thinking installation artists.
The landmark Marischal College has been re-imagined into a huge musical instrument by BAFTA award-winning artist Seb Lee-Delisle and his Laser Light Synths installation.
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As visitors play the custom-made synths, animated visuals will be beamed onto the side of the early 19th Century building and cover the entire college with shimmering dancing lights.
A giant interactive cloud, flaming metal sculptures and lights which switch on when you hug them are among the other highlights.
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The four-day event will light up Aberdeen until Sunday as part of the city’s 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.
Aberdeen City Council Deputy Leader Councillor Marie Boulton said: “SPECTRA 2017 will be an exciting family event, which will bring light in the depths of winter.
“Now in its fourth year, the festival highlights Aberdeen as an area of light and creativity and as a city of rich history, heritage and culture. Year on year we have seen new innovations, the festival is constantly evolving, and this year is no exception with the introduction of the live music stage in collaboration with True North.
“Aberdeen is undergoing great transformation right now, with significant development linked to our City Centre Masterplan, and those physical changes are central to our ambitions for the future. Providing events that bring these spaces, new and old, to life is vitally important and SPECTRA is a wonderful example of that in action.”
Union Terrace Gardens is hosting 13 installations including the eagerly anticipated CLOUD by Caitlind r.c. Brown and Wayne Garrett, Wave Garden - a new installation featuring kinetic wave sculptures - and Forget Me Not, produced by Sara Stroud, the artist in residents at Aberdeen Performing Arts.
Thee trees in t historic St Nicholas Kirk graveyard will be illuminated by art collective RaumZeitPiraten in tribute to Gaelic beliefs of natural healing.
Giant neon stick spiders will take over the graveyard in homage to Robert the Bruce.
St Nicholas Centre Roof Top Garden will open for the first time in SPECTRA’s history with students from Gray’s School of Art showing off their work. Bands and performers from Aberdeen will also be entertaining the crowds.
Andy Brydon, Director of Curated Place said: “Our continued work with Aberdeen City Council to develop and deliver SPECTRA has allowed us to push the festival into new territory for 2017.
“With the support of the Council, Creative Scotland, Heritage Lottery Fund, Aberdeen Inspired and VisitScotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology we want to shine a new light on the city centre’s rich heritage alongside welcoming some of the best artists working with light, sound and technology to the North-East.”
Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop added: “The SPECTRA light spectacular showcases Aberdeen as a contemporary city of design and technology with a strong cultural heritage and is a fitting event to help celebrate the 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.”