Campus to Host Look Again Festival

Look Again Festival this year kicks off with a programme of events, installations and performances at Robert Gordon University (RGU) which aim to bring the Garthdee campus alive.

Pester and Rossi

In a warm-up for the main festival, which runs from April 27 – May 1 at various locations around the city, ‘Look Again @ Garthdee’ launches on Thursday April 20.

Look Again, which is delivered through a partnership between RGU and Aberdeen-based art curators SMART, is a celebration of the very best contemporary visual art and design, showcasing both local and internationally acclaimed talent in Aberdeen.

Now in its third year, the festival aims to challenge the way the public see the Granite City, encouraging its audience to ‘become a tourist in your own city’.

One of the highlights of the Garthdee festival is collaborative duo, Pester and Rossi, who will descend on campus with their ‘INFLATO – OPTICAL IMAGE INTENSIFIER’ – a series of large-scale inflatable and wearable sculptures, inspired by some of the curious measuring and optical instruments from the early pharmacy, engineering and domestic science schools.

They will be joined at the festival by Stephanie Smith and Eddie Stewart who, working with Gray’s School of Art painting collection, will curate an exhibition which re-interprets the tradition of the nude in a potentially provocative installation.

Professor Chris O’Neil, Head of Gray’s School of Art, commented: “Look Again at Garthdee is going to be really exciting.  It will add colour, drama and vibrancy to the campus as part of what is already a great festival.

“The festival is a very unique partnership between the university and SMART. RGU’s investment in such a publicly accessible arts festival is unprecedented for a Scottish art school and our involvement allows us to take art directly to people.

“We will be showcasing the best of talent we have to offer here in the North-east, and drawing in huge names from around the country such as Pester and Rossi.

“The campus will be ready to welcome students, staff and the local community in an atmosphere of celebration, which will help us to look at our city in a new and different light.”

Aligning with the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, the 2017 programme will see artists and designers delve into the extensive collection of archives in the city, as inspiration for new public art works celebrating the region’s rich cultural heritage.

Other key highlights of Look Again @ Garthdee include –
  • Go Green Cycle Through Campus
  • HATCH Zine Workshop – with RGU students Lewis Copeland and Lewis Fraser
  • Jon Nicholson – Photography masterclass
  • Mental Health Movie Monthly presents:  My Neighbour Totoro
  • STACK T-shirt printing workshop

Sally Reaper, Festival Director, added: “We have such an amazing line up for Look Again this year.  Not only is the festival bigger than it’s ever been – it is bolder too with even more installations that will capture people’s imagination and challenge what they think about Aberdeen.

“Supporting emerging creative talent and helping them stay and work in the north-east is a founding principle of the festival so it’s fantastic to be able to offer such as wide ranging programme right on their doorstep at the Garthdee campus.” 

Margaret Buchan, Director of Library Service at RGU, commented: “I’m delighted that the Robert Gordon University’s Art and Heritage Collection has supported this year’s Look Again Festival and look forward to welcoming students and visitors on campus to engage with the Look Again @ Garthdee Campus programme.”

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