The Look Again Festival returned last week for the third year running. Unique from previous years, this festival began with Look Again @ Garthdee Campus, with things like exhibitions, talks, workshops and more going on around the University.
Look Again typically celebrates showcasing the local talent in Aberdeen, it also encourages people to be more engaged with art in the city and in doing so supports local artists, designers and businesses. This year is no different but in addition RGU has hosted art exhibitions from several distinguished artists as well as lectures and workshops from renowned photographer Jon Nicholson.
I have attended a selection of events throughout the week and have visited the exhibitions around campus to get a feel for Look Again @ Garthdee as a whole.
Firstly, I attended a lecture hosted by Jon Nicholson. I had a particularly eager to attend this in this aspect of the festival due to my interests in photography. Jon discussed his early career as a sports photographer and the steps he took to become a successful photo journalist. We then watched a slideshow of his best photos from around the world, many of which are taken to portray stories of severe humanitarian issues. He mainly specialises in striking black and white photographs. I found his photographs from Sudan and Ethiopia particularly impactful as he went into detail describing the photos and the circumstances at the time he took them. He explained that the photographs ultimately act to convey to story and encourage people to engage and donate help. His photos were inspiring to me personally, and I found not only his talk to be insightful but also the way he answered questions from people who attended the lecture. He also offered a portfolio review to give advice to those interested in pursuing photography.
After the lecture on Thursday I attended I went along to some of the exhibitions in Sir Ian Wood Building. Firstly, was workshop run by the STACK Artist Collective where people were able to print, by hand, Look Again designs onto t-shirts to then keep.
Also at the entrance of SIWB was exhibitions from Grays School of Art lecturers Craig Ellis and Cameron Campbell. One of these featured a collection of pottery and china fragments that had been collected from beaches on the West coast of Scotland. These were then dated and researched to try identify their origin, some of which were found to be from the 18th century. The artist had then mapped out the locations of where the pieces were found and colour coded them to display in the exhibition.
The festival also held some larger exhibitions, highlighting work from Glasgow based artists Pester and Rossi. The artists are known for creating live works in the form of wearable sculptures. In reaction to the findings of early pharmacy and engineering in the Robert Gordon University archives, the artists took inspiration from this to create a large-scale wearable inflatables called “Optical Image Intensifier” which resembled the shape and functionality of the original apparatus.
Look Again @ Garthdee Campus was a great addition to the wider festival and I thoroughly enjoyed going to see the various attractions. I was inspired by listening to Jon Nicholson and found the work of the featuring artists very impressive.
Did you get involved in the Look Again @ Garthdee festival? Share your photos with us on Facebook! For more information visit the Look Again website.