The Look Again Festival has returned for the third year bringing new commissions and unique displays of art across the Granite City. The festival aims to celebrate the very best contemporary visual art and design of local and international talent. It wants to change, challenge and help people to think deeper about how they see the Granite City and for people to “become a tourist of you own city”. And with 2017 being the year of History, Heritage and Archaeology the artists and designers at the festival have worked tirelessly researching the city’s historic collections. The festival and its artists also explored the objects and artworks of RGU, this inspiring them to launch the festival at the University as warm up to the main festival that starts on the 27th of April and ends on the 1st of May.
At the launch of the festival many features of art were displayed and took place on campus. With artists Pester and Rossi displaying wearable sculptures in response to artefacts found in RGU’s collections of early pharmacy instruments. This display was named ‘The Optical Image Intensifier’. The duo, based in Glasgow, aim to get audiences to observe and participate in their installations and performances.
The launch at RGU also saw a T-Shirt printing workshop, a display on social life and properties associated with it, a talk by Photographer Jon Nicholson, masterclasses and folio help, pop-up shops, and several other displays of art around campus, each allowing us to take away something from what we saw.
In the Sir Ian Wood Building artist Cameron Campbell displayed a variety of what to many would initially appear to be old broken porcelain. However, it was revealed Mr Campbell’s display represented much more than this. With the fragments of pottery came a past, from something once used and perhaps loved, now something worthless and lost of meaning. He stated that his display was to “take people on a journey” as we see the pieces now washed, collected, recorded and curated have a new meaning that would vary to each person. The display represented anything from consumer culture to being merely like something someone’s grandparents had, pulling on the nostalgia strings. His display was both insightful and interesting and alone showed the aims behind the festival as each person was delved into the idea of looking differently at something that perhaps we once thought nothing of.
Avid volunteer and former Gray’s student, Natalie, explained that the aim to have it on campus before the main festival was to give a taster of the event and bring it closer to everyone by spreading it throughout campus. She said she believed it was so interesting on so many levels and it truly was to try “make you look at something in a different way.”
The main festival kicking off in a week brings the same perspective, however, will have even more to offer from pop-up shops to the recreation of an Aberdeen record store and workshops to displays of dance and film. Many of the events are free however some you would need to purchase tickets for.
If you are interested in attending the event visit www.lookagainfestival.co.uk to find out more.