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Festival to showcase north-east contemporary art talent

By Alan Beresford

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A TEN-day festival, Beyond BAS9 will take place in Aberdeen from tomorrow (Friday) to shine a light on contemporary arts in the north-east.

Beyond BAS9 aims to showcase a wealth of north-east talent
Beyond BAS9 aims to showcase a wealth of north-east talent

The event is being hosted by Gray’s School of Art’s Creative Unit, Look Again, in partnership with Aberdeen Art Gallery, and will coincide with the closing stages of the touring, landmark British Art Show, BAS9, in Aberdeen at the end of October.

A series of exhibitions, talks and events will bring together contemporary art groups, collectives, artists and curators from across the Aberdeen to demonstrate the vitality of the arts in the north east. There’ll be a mix of in person and online events, with many exploring the legacy of BAS9 and looking ahead to the next chapter for contemporary art in the city.

Highlights from the festival include a brand-new exhibition called Paradigms curated by Gray’s School of Art graduate, Rachel Grant which will showcase a host of mediums including film, photography, sculpture as well as multi-media projects. This ambitious event will run until the ned of October in the Look Again Project Space on St Andrew's Street and will feature emerging artists working in Aberdeen and Plymouth, the first and last cities to host the current UK tour of British Art Show 9.

Gray’s School of Art Mobile Art School will hit the city streets, bringing art to everyone through a series of free, interactive workshops which will use state of the art creative tools, themed around the idea of ‘Designing for the future’. Activities will vary but visitors can expect to use ceramics, drawing, printmaking and used recycled materials. There’ll even be the chance to watch some live Raku pottery firing!

There’ll also be a colourful performance parade through the streets of Aberdeen led by ‘Plant Theatre for Plant People’ with British Art Show 9 artist Grace Ndiritu and local artists Aymee Charlton and Kinga Elliott. The parade will take place on Sunday, October 11 from Aberdeen Art Gallery and will follow a four-day workshop that will explore the natural world through meditation, Shamanistic practices and spirituality.

Hilary Nicoll, co-director of Look Again, Gray’s School of Arts’ Creative Unit said: “Beyond BAs9 is a really vibrant festival that offers an engaging line up of events for everyone in the north-east and beyond to enjoy.

"Many of the events explore what BAS9 may offer in terms of legacy for the arts in the city and will bring artists and curators together to consider the lasting impact of the landmark British Art Show.

“There is so much potential in the north-east and this festival speaks powerfully of the connectivity of creative practitioners working in the region. Gray’s School of Art’s Look Again is really connecting with Aberdeen Art Gallery and the future looks very bright for the arts in the region.”

Running alongside Beyond BAS9, the Hayward Gallery’s touring landmark exhibition, British Art Show 9, continues at Aberdeen Art Gallery until Sunday October 10 with an exhibition focusing on the politics of identity and nation and concerns of social, racial and environmental justice. The display marks the launch of the national tour for this contemporary art exhibition which takes place across the UK every five years.

A full programme of events for the Beyond BAS9 festival, which runs until October 10, can be found at www.lookagainaberdeen/co.uk/beyond-bas9

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