Aberdeen’s SPECTRA festival casts Granite City in new light

The Pool at Union Terrace Gardens
The Pool at Union Terrace Gardens
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SPECTRA 2016 brings together cutting edge light artists and digital creatives from around the world

Aberdeen is glowing in a new dimension as the SPECTRA 2016 festival prepares to go live tonight (Thursday).

The SPECTRA light festival.

The SPECTRA light festival.

The Granite City has been transformed into hi-tech playground with a series of stunning installations and shows that bring together some of the world’s greatest digital creators and light artists.

Many of the 20 original works at the SPECTRA have been created by those exhibiting in Scotland for the first time to celebrate the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.

For the first time Spectra - now its third year in Aberdeen - has moved beyond its traditional home of Union Terrace Gardens and has taken over other key city centre landmarks, including Marischal College and St Nicholas Kirkyard.

READ MORE: Video: Keyframe light sculptures brighten up Edinburgh

This is a world-class event which provides the city with something totally cutting edge

Councillor Marie Boulton, deputy leader of Aberdeen City Council

Deputy Leader of Aberdeen City Council Councillor Marie Boulton said: “This is a world-class event which provides the city with something totally cutting edge, both artistically and from a technological stand point.

“It also puts Aberdeen on the map as a cultural capital. Events likes SPECTRA can become a driver for both economic and social change and play a significant role in the city’s artistic evolution.

“This is an event the citizens of Aberdeen can be truly proud of and will draw thousands of people. The response already on social media has been magnificent.”

At St Nicholas Kirkyard, Light Wave Power draw admirers right into the core of the futuristic light sculpture with an overhead kinetic wave display that continuously changes shape and colour as people move around the show.

Marischal College transformed

Marischal College transformed

Meanwhile, a special commission by Double Take Projections has illuminated Marischal College with projections of the city’s contribution to design, science and society.

The work will be complimented by Digital Dust - an original composition by Jack White performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

Meanwhile, at Union Terrace Gardens, Water Light Graffiti allows the audience to make their mark with water pistols, paintbrushes and water sprays.

Creator Antonin Fourneau has received global acclaim for his interactive piece and has previously showcased in places such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi and Japan.

The Pool by Jen Lewin, of Colorado, is one of the biggest installations of the festival. Visitors are encouraged to run, jump and bounce across more than 100 interactive platforms - fitted with 40,000 LED bulbs- which light up and project colour in response to movement,

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “With Scotland’s 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, we have the opportunity to put Scotland on the map in a new and exciting way, positioning the country as a mix of traditional and cutting-edge at the same time.

“SPECTRA will shine a spotlight on a number of iconic locations from the imposing Marischal College to the historic St Nicholas Kirkyard, offering both locals and visitors a chance to see Aberdeen’s beautiful architecture, whilst celebrating its creative past, present and future.”

For more information on the festival visit the SPECTRA website.