VIDEO: SOLA brings his powers of illumination to Aberdeen

He’s a photographer who has worked with some of the world’s biggest companies.

And now, the artist known simply as SOLA is bringing his powers of illumination to Aberdeen as part of the 2018 Spectra festival of light, which will brighten up the city next month.

As somebody fascinated by how places change their identity after dusk and in the wee sma’ hours of the morning, he was in his element in the spooky setting of St Nicholas Kirkyard yesterday.

SOLA explained: “I’ve been asked to do 10 images of the city and I have been given free rein by the festival organisers.

“So I have been to all different parts of the city, from Footdee to Torry Battery and the beach and promenade to Marischal College and it has already been a wonderful experience.

“I am also planning to explore the city’s many wonderful granite buildings and I will be doing that over the weekend. This is the first time that I’ve spent any more than a few hours in Aberdeen, but I am really enjoying it.”

During his peripatetic career, the Birmingham-based artist has been involved in creating acclaimed campaigns for the likes of Nike and Harvey Nichols, in addition to lending colour and vivid life to landmarks throughout the globe.

And he is clearly relishing the challenge of being an integral feature of the new expanded Spectra and devising images which will form a key installation at the increasingly-popular festival.

He added: “All my work is real, there are no computer tricks, no recourse to Photoshop, and I think the public can relate to that.

“Spectra is gaining more and more attention from people both inside and outside Scotland and I love it. This isn’t about putting on some intellectual show at an art gallery.

“It’s about being accessible, being as inventive as possible, bringing communities together and adding a “wow” factor.

“If it inspires people to think about taking up art or photography, then that’s great. But if you just want to enjoy seeing your city in a different light, that’s terrific as well.”

The event runs from February 8 to 11 and the organisers are optimistic it will build on the success of the 2017 festival which saw around 65,000 visits across its run and attracted a host of international artists to the north east.

They are also convinced of the virtues of SOLA power.

Aberdeen City Council culture spokeswoman councillor Marie Boulton said: “This year’s light festival is drawing near and we’re delighted to welcome artists like SOLA to Aberdeen as they develop work for Spectra 2018.

“Bringing artists of this calibre to the city, alongside developing our own artistic talent, is a big bonus for the north-east and helps us see the city in a new light. SOLA’s work is vibrant, dynamic and sure to excite visitors to this year’s festival.”