World Famous Designer Wayne Hemingway to Launch Look Again 2017
Organisers of one of Scotland’s leading visual art and design festivals, Look Again, have revealed today that design icon Wayne Hemingway MBE, is coming to Aberdeen next month (Thursday April 27, 2017) to launch the event.
The five-day festival - which runs from Thursday April 27 to Monday May 1 – is delivered through a partnership between Robert Gordon University (RGU) and independent art agency SMART. It celebrates the very best in visual art and design and showcases projects by internationally recognised creatives.
As part of 2017 being the Scottish year of history, heritage and archaeology, many artists have delved into the city’s archives to create work which reflects the North-east’s culture – past and present. This year a campus programme will also run the week before the festival begins at RGU.
Wayne Hemingway, who co-founded fashion label Red or Dead, and now runs multi-disciplinary design agency HemingwayDesign will make the most of his time north of the border and is expected to visit a number of the public artworks sited across the city. He will also host a workshop for invited guests and a public talk at the city’s Belmont Filmhouse where he will discuss his inspirational career to date and reveal how festivals can transform the places that we live in, fostering new and vibrant identities in our changing towns and cities.
The acclaimed designer will share his experience of the festivals he has founded, including the Festival of Making, The Festival of Thrift and the award-winning Vintage by the Sea – offering insight and engaging in informal discussions about how the success of festivals might be used to benefit Aberdeen.
He said: “I always love coming up to Aberdeen and have heard great things about Look Again. At HemingwayDesign we are involved in some wonderful projects and events that have interesting learnings to pass on. On top of that though, I am bringing some of my rare soul, funk and disco records up so put on your dancing shoes!”
Hemingway will also attend the Look Again launch party and take the role of official DJ at city venue Underdog.
Festival director, Sally Reaper said: “Building on an inspirational talk to Aberdeen Festivals by Jude Kelly, Director of Southbank Centre last year, Look Again is delighted to bring another major cultural leader to Aberdeen. Wayne is an expert and an innovator, and a real catalyst; he makes stuff happen. At Look Again we have the same ethos - we want to see change in the city - more creativity and cultural activity, so people see the city through fresh eyes. Access to Wayne will help connect people, challenge them, and inspire this kind of change.”
Highlights of this year’s Look Again include:
‘Record Store’ - AKA Obstacle Soup - is a project curated by visual artists Janie Nicoll and Chirs Biddlecombe in collaboration with 36 Scottish artists. Part exhibition, part fantasy record shop, the project explores and celebrates the crossover between visual arts and music. Set to include new works by 12 invited artists from the north-east, ‘Record Store’ will be shown at Seventeen - the creative hub and exhibition space in Belmont Street that was formerly the much loved One Up Records.
Visual artists Jon Thomson and Alison Craighead, who are based in London and the Scottish Highlands – will present a new generative moving image work, inspired by Aberdeen Harbour, called Control Room, alongside two existing artworks, Aberdeen Wall and Here
The Listener led by Scottish artist Jason Nelson includes a set of follies which tell the story of Aberdeen. The project is both an object to be viewed and a space to be used by people, from which to hear the histories and the urban myths that form the collective consciousness and identity of Aberdeen.
Swedish-based designer Nick Ross will showcase new work inspired by Aberdeen’s Seven Incorporated Trades. The project known as ‘The Doric Boule’ connects ideas of local power and influence to a wider view of the world. A public meeting point will be created in the city’s Marischal quad made not just from local stone but from varieties of granite from across the world.
Ruby Pester and Nadia Rossi are set to launch Look Again @ Garthdee Campus this year with their project ‘Inflato – Optical Image Intensifier’. The exhibition by the Glasgow duo includes a series of large scale, site specific inflatable and wearable sculptures which were inspired by some of the curious measuring and optical instruments from the early pharmacy, engineering and domestic science schools.
This year’s festival secured record funding, attracting a combined £93k through grants from the National Lottery through Creative Scotland’s Open Project Fund and Aberdeen City Council. The public body which supports the arts, screen and creative industries across Scotland contributed £73k to the annual festival – more than double its funding package in 2016. Robert Gordon University has also provided substantial support to the event.
The Lord Provost of Aberdeen George Adam said: "I'm really proud of the way the cultural sector in Aberdeen is developing. There is so much on offer and Look Again is a great festival, which captures people's imagination and gets them thinking about their community and environment in a different way."
Andrew Leitch, from Creative Scotland’s Creative Industries Team added: “Look Again has achieved a great deal in its first two years, engaging people with visual arts and design, by producing new work inspired by the city for the city and its people. We wish the team all the best for this year’s festival.”
In addition to the city centre programme, which takes place between 27 April and 1 May 2017, an extensive campus showcase will be held at Robert Gordon University’s Garthdee Campus between 20 April and 24 April 2017. It will be the largest campus exhibition the university has held. Follow Look Again across its social media channels or visit www.lookagainfestival.co.uk.