The final preparations are being made for a prestigious art show’s arrival in Aberdeen for the first time.
The British Art Show 9 (BAS9) will open at the recently refurbished and award-winning Aberdeen Art Gallery on July 10.
Running since 1979, the exhibition takes place every five years and is widely regarded as the most important survey of recent art from the UK.
This is the first time the prestigious show will be hosted in Aberdeen, and the city is the only Scottish location planned for the major exhibition.
Using film, photography, painting, sculpture and performance artists blur the boundaries between art and life. They imagine futures with alternative economies and ways of living together that emphasise commonality, collaboration and care.
Curators Irene Aristizábal and Hammad Nasar selected 33 artists for the Aberdeen exhibition after travelling to more than 23 locations across the UK and meeting with over 230 artists.
The Aberdeen exhibition
BAS9 in Aberdeen will be a wide-ranging public programme of online and real-life events, including talks, artist films, performances and workshops.
Councillor Marie Boulton, Aberdeen City Council’s culture spokeswoman, said: “People who have visited Aberdeen Art Gallery in the last couple of weeks will notice that things are changing, with artworks moving, and gallery spaces closed off as the team get ready to install work by the 33 artists exhibiting in British Art Show 9 in Aberdeen.
“In a double first for the city, we are tremendously excited to be hosting this prestigious exhibition for the first time, and launching the UK tour. We hope that local residents and – Covid-19 restrictions permitting – people living further afield will take the opportunity to visit BAS9 in Aberdeen, perhaps as part of a summer staycation – British Art Show 9 will be activating the silver city’s streets and is not to be missed.”
A group of locally-recruited BAS9 ambassadors will be working with young people, families, students and new Scots to explore the exhibition themes, the artists’ inspiration and processes and to encourage participants to unlock their own creativity.
Volunteers in the Art Gallery will be on hand to answer all questions from visitors about the contemporary art.
Highlights across the city
There will be a sound walk to celebrate BAS9 in Aberdeen at the Broad Street fountains outside Marischal College. Four looped pieces of audio by Pippa Murphy, Ross Whyte, Bea Dawkins and Silent Chaos to compliment the motion of the dancing water.
At Aberdeen Central Library, artist Abigail Reynolds worked with a group of nine local readers as part of her Elliptical Reading project. She is developing a regular reading hour where readers meet to share short sections from a favourite book to create a word collage.
People visiting the Central Library can find books selected by nine local readers which have been re-bound by the artist and re-shelved in alternative locations. Map guides with the locations of these books will be available in the Art Gallery and the Central Library, or can be downloaded.
The touring exhibition which commences in Aberdeen next month will remain in the city until October 10, before touring to Wolverhampton, Manchester and Plymouth.