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'Beyond BAS9' celebrates contemporary arts

Thursday 23 September 2021

Graphic to promote Beyond BAS9 contemporary art festival
A ten-day collaborative arts programme, 'Beyond BAS9' will take place in Aberdeen from 1 – 10 October to shine a light on contemporary arts in the north east.

The programme 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 9 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 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 from 1st – 31st October in the Look Again Project Space on St.Andrews 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 11 October 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 Art's Creative Unit said: “Beyond BA59 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.”

Another festival highlight is an online event organised by the Look Again’s Creative Scotland 'Create Network'.  The forum will explore the impact of Covid restrictions and discuss how artists and creatives are developing new ways of staying connected throughout challenging times. As part of the discussions, the group will draw on the experiences of a drawing project in Shetland, a group of young neuro-diverse musicians in Aberdeenshire, a writer’s group in Aberdeen and a printmaker’s group in Orkney.

Grampian Hospitals Art Trust will also host a virtual exhibition, promoting the work of professional artists engaged in the arts and wellbeing programmes in Aberdeen and the wider region.

Elsewhere in the programme, an exhibition called ‘Another World is Possible’ at the Peacock Visual Arts gallery will delve into Aberdeen People’s Press and explore radical media in the 1970s focusing on a wide range of community newspapers, trade unions and campaigning groups from the period.

Another festival event, hosted by Lux Scotland, a national development agency for artists, will focus on support for emerging artists, filmmakers, curators, writers and researchers in Aberdeen and will discuss how to strengthen creatives professional networks. 
An online symposium, Sustainability in the Creative and Cultural Industries, hosted as part of RGU’s creative conversations for COP26 programme, will examine sustainability in the creative sector.

Running alongside Beyond BAS9, the Hayward Gallery’s touring landmark exhibition, British Art Show 9, continues at Aberdeen Art Gallery 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. Widely acknowledges as the most important recurrent exhibition of contemporary art produced in this country, the show will next tour to the cities of Wolverhampton, Manchester and Plymouth.

A full programme of events can be found at: Look Again Beyond BAS9 

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