The programme of events for the 2018 Look Again Visual Art and Design Festival, a key cultural initiative of RGU, was launched today with a sweet surprise in store from one of the festival’s supporters.
The festival has teamed up with Mackie's of Scotland, which will launch a brand new flavour of ice cream to be dished out for free at one of the Look Again highlight installations, ‘A House In The Woods’ by James Rigler, in the Marischal Quad.
Look Again invites the public to discover high-quality contemporary art and design in familiar civic spaces. The festival creates an opportunity for residents to see Aberdeen through fresh eyes and ‘become a tourist in their own city’.
Crucially, the festival is not just about ‘art for art’s sake’ but is rooted in a strong commitment to deliver significant opportunities for contemporary artists and designers based in the region.
As Aberdeen considers its economic future, Look Again is laying the foundations for a new narrative in the City – a story which is about changing mind-sets and building awareness of the great potential of the region’s creative industries.
To celebrate Scotland’s Year of Young People, Look Again 2018, which take place from Thursday 14 to Sunday 17 June, will stage inspiring events and exhibit new works around the theme of ‘serious play’.
Festival Director, Sally Reaper, commented: “We have an even bigger and better festival lined up for this year and are excited to be working with a host of local, national and international artists to really bring the city to life over the course of four days in June.
“What we are trying to do is to create a lasting legacy and a reinvigorated creative economy within the North-east and we believe this is a truly transformational time in the region’s history in terms of its cultural offering.”
Highlights for the 2018 festival include –
- James Rigler – ‘A House in the Woods’ explores some of the diverse and contradictory strands of the gothic style, following an architectural family tree from Aberdeen’s Marischal College’s grand Gothic Revival to the Carpenter Gothic farmhouses of the American prairies
Emily Speed – ‘Facades/Fronts’ will explore the transition to adulthood and the forming of one's identity. The workshops, which will be recorded and shown as part of The Happenstance, the Scotland + Venice exhibit at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition at the Biennale di Venezia, will provide a playful and supportive space to develop ideas and devise a performative work
- ‘Super Aberdeen’ – artist Supermundane will engage with Aberdeen-based creative collective, STACK, to deliver a new workshop format in the form of ‘Super Monday Club’ to a group of young people to produce a collection of motifs and designs which will transform into a public artwork
- ‘Positive Geographies’– an exhibition of new work by 2017 graduates from Gray’s School of Art. The exhibition will present film, installation, sculpture and performance art, proposing new perspectives on place in an expanding digital world, curated by Jon Blackwood
- Amy Gear – ‘Da Mooth O Da Cave’ is a large-scale, playful, interactive painting that allows anybody’s mouth to become that of the cave. This will give the landscape a voice, and explores the idea of place being made soil, sea and stone but also of people, stories and dialect
- Catrin Jeans – ‘Imagining Aberdeen’ is a project which aims to outline ideas to create a place where every child is happy, healthy and safe, and to determine barriers to this and how they might be overcome
- Ellie Turner – ‘Wonder Chamber’ is an immersive collection of magical and playful objects presented in an interactive sensory space
- Gabi Reith & Phil Thompson – 'Oor News' is a fun-filled Aberdeen newspaper, featuring monster stories from around the city to get people to Look Again at the city in a new, rich, playful manner, sharing stories about the city around the world
Look Again is delivered through a partnership between Robert Gordon University (RGU) and Aberdeen-based art curators SMART. Now in its fourth year, the 2017 festival recorded more than 35,000 engagements at its various sites across the city and on campus at RGU.
Libby Curtis, Head of RGU’s Gray’s School of Art, commented: “We are thrilled to be celebrating the Year of Young People by joining forces with Look Again and reflecting its theme of ‘Serious Play’ to spotlight great visual art and design across the city.
“Right now in Aberdeen we are also reflecting on the significant value and importance of our creative energies. As a city of culture and invention, a city with a unique and distinctive identity, we are growing again through a renewed sense of purpose backed by the new Cultural Aberdeen strategy, which both Gray’s and Look Again have played a pivotal part in forming.”
Cllr Douglas Lumsden, Aberdeen City Council Co-Leader, said: “Aberdeen City Council is proud to support Look Again and to be contributing significant funding. It is part of our wider Aberdeen 365 strategy, which focuses on expanding and enhancing the calendar of innovative events and attractions. Aberdeen has tremendous potential as a destination and events such as Look Again are crucial to catering not only for an appreciative local audience but also in attracting visitors from across the world, supporting our economic aims by encouraging growth in the tourism sector.”
The Festival is supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland. Andrew Leitch, Creative Industries Officer, added: “The Look Again Festival of Visual Art & Design not only showcases the highest quality design to the people of Aberdeen and beyond but also provides a platform for the local creative industries. Over the past three years the festival have successfully delivered ambitious projects with leading and creative practitioners, such as Assemble, Thomson and Craighead, Pester and Rossi and Nick Ross. Look Again connects the city nationally and internationally and adds value to Aberdeen’s creative and cultural life.”
The full programme can be viewed at the Look Again Festival website.
by Rob Smith
Press and Media Enquiries