Local artists join SPECTRA 2017 line-up

Scottish artists have been given the opportunity to join the line-up for SPECTRA 2017, Aberdeen’s festival of light.

STACK Collective from Aberdeen, Heather Lander from Glasgow and Andrew Sage and Xanthe Bodington, currently living in Aberdeen, have been commissioned to present specially created works when the festival runs from 9-12 February.

They will be joined by Gray’s School of Art Tutor and Aberdeen based International light artist Jim Buckley.

STACK are an Aberdeen based collective of early-career artists and designers who will be running artist workshops during the festival based on an anecdotal history of Aberdeen.

The workshops will take place during SPECTRA and artwork produced will be made into an installation using LED lights and Perspex and exhibited the following evening of the festival.

The installation will be added to throughout the festival and it will create a public produced artwork for all of Aberdeen to see and be part of.

The skills and energy of the artists and designers in the STACK collective will ensure that this project will create the purest audience participation installation that SPECTRA has ever seen.

Heather Lander is an American/British Artist living in Glasgow whose work Channel 3.2 looks at the physical versus the virtual, illusion and magic. It comes from investigations into how visual works and how it can easily be disrupted or confused.

Heather has exhibited at The Briggait as part of Glasgow International, in collaboration with Simon Harlow, Cryptic Nights at the Centre of Contemporary Art in Glasgow and the Hidden Door Festival in Edinburgh

Group Hug is a commission created by artists Andrew Sage and Xanthe Boginton.

A collection of custom designed ‘Hug Pads’ will be placed on the ground in Union Terrace Gardens. The idea is for people standing on adjoining Hug Pads to hug each other and the more of the Hug Pads that are activated at once, the more elements of the light artwork light up.

Xanthe, a Communications Design graduate from RGU, and Andrew, have collaborated on numerous projects since 2015.

Councillor Marie Boulton, Deputy Leader of Aberdeen City Council, said: “STACK, Heather Lander and Xanthe Bodington and Andrew Sage’s appearance at the festival is supported through SPECTRA Commissions, an opportunity for Scotland-based artists to pilot new work at the 2017 festival.

“This is an exciting opportunity for emerging artists to show their work at a hugely successfully festival, attended by 35,000 people in 2016, and to integrate into a network of nationally and internationally renowned light and sound artists, such as Jim Buckley, working with successful arts producers and industry professionals.”

Gray’s School of Art Tutor and Aberdeen based International light artist Jim Buckley has also been commissioned to display work at SPECTRA 2017.

Having studied sculpture at Crawford School of Art in Cork from 1975 to 1981, he joined the staff at Gray’s in 1989. Jim was appointed Reader in Fine Art in 2004 and is currently chair of Peacock Visual Arts (PVA) and a board member of Scottish Sculpture Workshop (SSW).

His piece “Rajio taisō” (Radio Calisthenics) is a looped three and a half minute projected video with soundtrack on a large screen across an archway in Union Terrace Gardens. The audience will be actively encouraged to interact by entering the arch to perform the exercises, which will be silhouetted on the screen along with the projected video.

Rajio taisō were introduced to Japan in 1928 as a commemoration of the coronation of Emperor Hirohito. Rajiotaiso or “radio exercises” refers to warm-up calisthenics popular in mainland China, Taiwan and Japan. In Japan, it is broadcast to music on public NHK radio early in the morning.

The work celebrates Aberdeen’s historic link to Japan through Thomas Blake Glover, born in Fraserburgh in 1838, who played a key role in the restoration of the Japanese Emperor in 1868.

2017 marks Jim’s return to SPECTRA, having been part of the pilot festival in 2014. The commissioned artwork will be displayed in the arches in Union Terrace Gardens and also on the rooftop of St Nicholas Centre for the duration of SPECTRA 2017.

Photo Caption: (L-R) Claire Burnett, Jess Connor and Claire Paul from STACK Collective at Union Terrace Gardens