2024 will see some of the North East’s brightest artistic talent take centre stage at Spectra, as part of a new programme marking the landmark 10th year of Scotland’s Festival of Light.

Northern Lights is being produced by Look Again at Gray’s School of Art, Robert Gordon University, on behalf of Spectra, and will be led by local artist Craig Barrowman. Ten creative practitioners from the north east have been selected to create special augmented reality artworks, which will premiere as part of the Spectra programme from 08 to 11 February 2024.

The digital pieces will each help to illuminate Aberdeen city centre during the festival, and provide a fun and rewarding interactive side to the programme.
The project will see the emerging creatives produce vivid and playful works of art that can be found throughout the Spectra site.

The works will see audiences interacting with everything from talking trees to local wildlife, a hag stone-inspired portal, and a dazzling rainbow bridge linking some of the artworks. Inspirations will range from local wildlife found in the River Don and River Dee to historical hidden voices of working women, Doric Street Art, and the industrial impact on the Aberdeenshire coastline.

Creatives featured in the project will include Kirsty Lawie of local graffiti-specialists Outlines Collective, 3D designer and Gray’s alumni Kirsty Skea, multi-disciplinary artist Sean Wheelan, 3D animator Si Knox, sculptor and performer Gianni Esporas, and artists Andrey Chugunov, Harry Roberts, Mariana Machalska, Mark Luurtsema, and Sarah Buchan.

Cllr Martin Greig, Aberdeen City Council Culture Spokesperson, said: “We are pleased to be partnering with the Look Again team at Gray’s School of Art as part of this year’s stunning Spectra programme. It is a wonderful opportunity to showcase some of the creativity that exemplifies the artistic talent here in Aberdeen and the wider North East. It will be a rewarding experience for the artists and a fun experience for the Spectra audience to enjoy during the festival.”

Sally Reaper, Director of Look Again at Gray’s School of Art, said: “Look Again is absolutely delighted to be supporting Spectra 2024 through the ‘Northern Lights’ project. “Look Again host a range of events and exhibitions to strengthen the creative sector and community in the North East and Spectra is an important part of the region’s cultural calendar that will light up Aberdeen city centre. “Robert Gordon University is committed to supporting the economic, social and cultural development of our region and our involvement with Spectra will foster partnerships and opportunities to showcase the wealth of local talent in our creative community.”