Aberdeen light festival begins to take shape

This month (November) will kick off a new series of professional development events to coincide with the first art installation for SPECTRA 2017 – Aberdeen's stunning festival of light.

The work Illuminated Geometry is inspired by natural science and an archaeological mystery from the north-east’s past

The networking and education evening will cover a range elements including planning and developing projects for schools, families and adults and how to make a business from participatory art.

The workshops will be delivered by artist educators Jenny Dockett and Hannah Ayre today (4 November) at The Anatomy Rooms in Marischal College and are additional workshops run in conjunction with SPECTRA’s schools engagement programme – Illuminating Geometry.

Jenny’s Illuminating Geometry is inspired by platonic solids - the ‘building blocks of existence’, found in everything in the natural world from salt grains to diamond, right through to the common cold virus. Platonic solids are also behind one the country’s most persistent archaeological mysterious, the Neolithic carved stone balls discovered around Scotland. The finest example of these, the Towie stone, was found in Aberdeenshire 1860 and its mysterious origins continue to fascinate scientists and archaeologists around the world today.

The award winning artist, who will be providing a unique insight into her practice for local artists and educators, studied Environmental Microbiology at the University of Aberdeen and has previously been featured at many high profile science and education festival programmes including the Orkney Science Festival and the Abu Dhabi Science Festival.

Working with schools across the city, the children involved in the Illuminated Geometry project will each make a paper lantern in the shape of one of the platonic solids and illuminate it with an LED.

The aim of the project is to make a light and sculptural form comprised of around ) 450 lanterns made by school children across Aberdeen, that will be combined with larger lanterns Jenny Dockett will make to form the completed art work that will be on show at Seventeen on Belmont Street for the duration of the Spectra festival.

Aberdeen City Council’s Deputy Leader Councillor Marie Boulton said: “We are delighted that SPECTRA can offer the opportunity for people to develop skills and help the city become a cultural capital.

“Both interactive and inspiring, the festival has led the way in showcasing the best of what Aberdeen has to offer as a cultural destination and we hope that events like this will help to protect and develop Aberdeen’s artistic legacy”

Artist Jenny Dockett said: “I am fascinated by science, art and the early history of these islands. When I studied at Aberdeen I spent weekends exploring stone circles and standing stones across Aberdeenshire. I am still fascinated by our ancestor’s ability to measure the movement of the heavens things that many people don't notice today. All of my interests have come together to form the Illuminating Geometry project.”

Hannah Ayre is Head of Public Engagement for Curated place, the arts production company which delivers SPECTRA for Aberdeen City Council and will assist Jenny in delivering the workshops.

SPECTRA 2017 is supported through Aberdeen City Council’s Cultural Development Programme, with a contribution of £200,000 approved at the Education and Children’s Services Council Committee meeting on 2 June 2015.

It is also supported by Creative Scotland and Event Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.