This is not the first time Spectra has transformed the centre of Aberdeen with its spectacular light effects and visual feasts that make the locals proclaim “fit’s that?!” The 2020 theme is Scotland’s coasts and waters and to this end there are tentacles flowing off the top of Marischal Square and the Art Gallery.
There are various installations around the city centre, the most sensory of which are at St Nicholas Kirk. Spooky noises whirl around your head and voices come out of the tombstones. It looks like fireflies dance around in the darkness. Inside the church itself is Ship of the Gods and Aerial, both need to be experienced to fully gain the overwhelming spirit of them. 3D laser scans of birds and earie noises fill the body of the kirk with the magical shape shifting ship just inside the door.
It’s impossible to miss the giant inflatables on Broad Street and the Rainbow Laser Flares up the front of Marishal College should not be missed as you get to shoot laser fireworks up the front of the iconic building!
One of the less obvious installations is hidden away in Marischal Square. Called The Book Of Lies, by Chris Paul Daniels, it is a mixture of old photos and modern 8mm film clips from Iceland. Shown across 3 screens and accompanied with music by one of the chaps behind 808 State it has a fascinating voiceover with the story behind the images. One of the moments that stay with you is “spot the difference, learn from the past” with a black and white pony compared to a sepia pony. This wonderful piece really draws together the new and the old.
Certainly worth a visit, with lots to see, and something to appeal to all ages. This year there is the addition of relaxed sessions although the tickets were fully booked before the festival began.