Something quite nice happened a few weeks ago and if your the kind of person who doesn't like to go out after dark then you might have missed it. 'Spectra' was Aberdeen's very first festival of light! Organised by Peacock Visual Arts with help from a host of funding bodies the programmed of events stretched over many months culminating in 4 days of illuminations and lights scattered across the city.
A host of artists were involved in the project from international names like Adam Baker-Mill to local talents like Jim Ewen and Jim Buckley. The artists created a range of works which were scattered across the city in various locations creating a route which you could follow with the help of the festival maps. Starting from Union Terrace Gardens participants could wander the city center ticking off the art works as they go and hopefully seeing things in a new way. I've often thought this to be a problem in Aberdeen, people failing to see the beauty and cultural wealth that exists in the city and Spectra certainly helped expose this wealth of creativity. Whether its the changing lights above Nandos, the tape strip installation at tippling house, the incredible hand crafted works at Peacocks or the spaceship taking off on the Triple Kirks tower, each artist worked with their space and created something different.
My personal favourites would have to be voice activated lights set up in Seventeen (old One Up). Seeing the range of shapes changing according to a persons pitch was fun, especially when speaking like a 12 year old girl! Also watching the smoke billow out as the clock counts down for blast off was amusing, the actual rocket take off was met with cheers from the gathered crowd! And seeing some of Aberdeen's most iconic buildings lit up like a rainbow was great, a nice comment on the Russian President's blatant homophobia with Aberdeen Market, The Art Galley, The Salvation Army Citadel and even the old council headquarters all illuminated to stunning effect.
There's a photography competition which should yield some amazing images from this years event so ill share some of them once the winners are announced but you can see some snaps from PVA's facebook page below. As far as I can tell the festival was a massive success and will hopefully be running again next year. I just hope I get an invite as I have a great idea for the Marischal College but I might just do it anyway when nobody's looking!