The first spectacular installation for Spectra has been revealed – and promises to create a breathtaking blaze of colour, towering as tall as a three-storey building over Aberdeen’s Castlegate.
TOGETHER will be a pavilion-like structure, with giant, ribbon-like rings, offering a unique and immersive experience using text, light and music.
It will be a central part of the festival of light, running from Thursday February 10 to Sunday February 13.
This will be the first time TOGETHER, a touring installation, has appeared in Scotland and is crafted by Lucid Creates, a partnership between Chris Carr and Helen Swan, whose spectacular works have been seen from Glastonbury to Ibiza.
Helen said: “It’s huge – 15 metres high. It’s as tall as a three-storey building and as wide.
“It’s four enormous pillars, and suspended from those are three very large rings. The outside of those rings is mirrored and the inside is where the text and the visuals move around.”
A piece to bring people together to celebrate
Helen said the piece was created by her and Chris as a reaction to their loneliness during the isolation of lockdown.
“We wanted to design a piece which brought people together and create a place to celebrate ways in which communities unite and come together,” said Helen, who is based in Kent.
“But it is a piece that can transform where it goes, so depending on the community within it, it can represent them in their own way. We’re reflecting their own feelings about their community back at them.”
The experiences, thoughts and memories that will grace the artwork in the Castlegate have been submitted by staff and students at Aberdeen University, the key sponsor for Spectra, staged by Aberdeen City Council.
TOGETHER could see dancing on the Castlegate
TOGETHER has already been in Medway in Kent, as part of its City Of Culture Bid, in Liverpool for the River Of Light festival and also to the Leeds Festival.
Helen hopes the work, with its light, visuals and music will draw people to the Castlegate and encourage them to linger and be together as a community.
“Particularly at the moment, I hope it brings people a sense of joy and being able to come together with other people and feel part of something larger,” she said.
“Especially so for people who are lonely to be in a space and know there will other people who have experienced similar things to them.”
While in Liverpool TOGETHER was transformed into a massive dance space for the city’s iconic club, Chibuku, and became a dance area for the Leeds Festival.
So will there be dancing in the Castlegate?
“I hope so,” said Helen, laughing. “There will be music, whether it’s ravey or not we’re working on at the moment, we’ll see what we can do. We could have a special party.”
TOGETHER is just one of many works which will bring a blaze of colour to locations including Marischal College, Upperkirkgate, Schoolhill, Marischal Square, and Aberdeen Art Gallery during Spectra.
The free-family festival – delivered by award-winning production company Curated Place – will feature light sculptures, architectural projections, neon and film to show Aberdeen at its best.
More works are yet to be announced, with details on the festival being shared at www.spectrafestival.com