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First look at spectacular Spectra line-up that will light up Aberdeen

spectra aberdeen
The stunning artwork Gaia will inspire awe at Aberdeen Art Gallery during the Spectra festival of light.

The full line-up for Aberdeen’s festival of light, Spectra, has been unveiled – ranging from a giant floating Earth in the city’s Art Gallery to massive colourful flowers sprouting on Broad Street.

The event aims to light up the Granite City in a spectacular and awe-inspiring four days next month, while bringing Scotland and its stories to life.

Award-winning artists from the UK and around the world will create fantastic installations at iconic locations including Marischal College, Union Street, Broad Street, Schoolhill, and the Music Hall – which will host a breath-taking floating Moon.

One of the highlights will be the world premiere of Writ Large, specially commissioned for Scotland’s Year Of Stories.

The Museum Of The Moon will be a Spectra centrepiece at the Music Hall.

Created by prize-winning literary and arts production house, Neu Reekie, it will combine creative light installations with words to bring Scottish prose and poetry to life, splashed across buildings in the city centre.

Councillor Jenny Laing, Aberdeen City Council leader, said: “Spectra allows us to showcase the city centre in a safe and inclusive way, bringing audiences to see breath-taking installations complementing our historic buildings such as Marischal College and our fabulous Aberdeen Art Gallery.

Over the moon to welcome world artists to Spectra

“With restrictions now behind us we can’t wait to welcome audiences from across Scotland into Aberdeen to experience this showstopping festival and bring a wee bit of light to the city centre.”

Andy Brydon, director of Curated Place which delivers the festival for Aberdeen City Council, said: “We are over the moon (pun intended) to be welcoming so many amazing artists, collectives and creators to Aberdeen as part of Spectra, Scotland’s festival of light, this year.”

TOGETHER is set to tower over the Castlegate during the festival of light.

Making his debut at Spectra will be artist Luke Jerram with his two jaw-dropping pieces, Gaia and Museum Of The Moon, which both have a surround sound composition by BAFTA award-winning composer Dan Jones.

Gaia will see a seven-metre diameter, illuminated representation of the Earth, floating in the Sculpture Court of Aberdeen Art Gallery – the first Spectra installation to be inside the venue.  It aims to create a sense of awe and renewed responsibility for taking care of the environment.

The companion work Museum Of The Moon, offers a similar sense of wonder inside the Music Hall, fusing lunar imagery, moonlight and surround sound.

These installations join the already announced large-scale work, TOGETHER, for Spectra,which will run from Thursday February 10 to Sunday February 13.

The biggest hypercube in the world will bring magic to Spectra.

It will tower three storeys high over the Castlegate, with three illuminated rings creating a place for communities to gather and celebrate unity after months of isolation in Covid lockdown.

Giant flowers will create symphony of light and sound

Meanwhile, on Broad Street, the incredible Pendulum Wave Machine will have shimmering silver balls hanging in the air like floating mercury, dancing their way through patterns of order and patterns of chaos.

Alongside it, Hypercube resembles an infinity mirror in three-dimensions. Featuring over 2,500 high density, high intensity LEDs between six perfectly engineered faces of a giant cube, it is believed to be the biggest hypercube in the world. Both installations are the work of Travelling Light Circus.

Trumpet Flowers promises to be a symphony of light and sound on Broad Street during Spectra.

Broad Street will also host Trumpet Flowers, super-sized structures that immerse audiences in a jungle of light, colour and sound. Visitors can even make their own symphony of music and light in the installation by amigo and amigo.

How to find out more about Spectra

And at Marischal College another world premiere will unfold as Six Frames from Illuminos takes centre stage.

A playful interpretation of six stanzas from Sheena Blackhall’s poem On the Bus: Nummer 1 Route uses six repeating sections of the college facade to create a flick book journey through Aberdeen from the bus route of the poem.

Pendulum Wave Machine is the creation of the Travelling Light Circus.

Cllr Laing said: “This year’s programme features new commissions, world premieres and collaborations, with art that can be both fun and reflects on the problems we’ve faced in recent years.

“Above all, it shows that Aberdeen is a city ready to move forward together and we hope audiences enjoy this year’s festival with us.”

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