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Look Again Festival returns to bring fresh perspective to Aberdeen

Super Aberdeen - Look Again Festival

The 2018 Look Again Festival of Visual Art & Design gets underway today (Thursday 14 - Sunday 17 June) in Aberdeen with the unveiling of a series of impressive public artworks across the city. We find out more and take a closer look at what's on offer...

Supported by Creative Scotland with National Lottery funding, Look Again not only showcases the highest quality design to the people of Aberdeen and beyond, but also provides a platform for the local creative industries. 

We're trying to create a lasting legacy and a reinvigorated creative economy.- Sally Reaper, Festival Director

Andrew Leitch, Creative Industries Officer, says “Over the past three years the festival has 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 festival animates familiar civic spaces with high-quality contemporary art and design, inviting the public to see Aberdeen through fresh eyes and ‘become a tourist in their own city’.

"We’re interested in encouraging people to see the city in a new light," Associate Director Hilary Nicoll tells us. "Aberdeen has an incredible history and amazing cultural assets that have perhaps been overshadowed in recent years by the oil industry. We want people to find out new and unexpected things by connecting with the artists and art works in the festival, and get a sense that this is a really creative and vibrant place."

Supermundane - Look Again Festival

Crucially, the festival is not just about ‘art for art’s sake’ but is rooted in a strong commitment to deliver significant opportunities for artists and designers based in the region, with over 120 involved in developing and delivering work for the festival. 

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.

“We have an even bigger and better festival lined up for this year," says Festival Director, Sally Reaper, "and we're 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.

“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.”

Look Again 2018

Some highlights for the 2018 festival

  • 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, via Hansel and Gretel and some free ice-cream.

James Rigler, House in the Woods - Look Again Festival

  • ‘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
  • Ellie Turner – ‘Wonder Chamber’ is an immersive collection of magical and playful objects presented in an interactive sensory space

Ellie Turner, Wonder Chamber - Look Again Festival

  • Emily Speed – ‘Facades/Fronts’ will explore the transition to adulthood and the forming of one's identity.

Emily Speed - The Committee - Look Again Festival

  • 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
  • To celebrate Scotland’s Year of Young People, Look Again 2018 will also stage inspiring events and exhibit new works around the theme of ‘serious play’, including two "playable pavilions" - Wee Rig and Big Box - interactive and multi-sensory playable structures.

Playable Pavilions - Look Again Festival

Look Again is an initiative of Robert Gordon University (RGU). 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.

This article was published on 14 Jun 2018