Celebrating love, music and art in new Music Hall exhibition

A new exhibition celebrating the power of music and how it touches all of our lives will feature as part of the celebrations for Aberdeen’s Music Hall when it re-opens its doors to the public on December 8 following a multi-million pound transformation project.

Twelve leading poets representing every country in the UK have created a new work inspired by music which has been illustrated by Scottish artist Andrew Cranston to create twelve works combining words and music for the Music Hall’s new lower foyer.

The title of the exhibition, ‘In Love in the Music Hall,’ commissioned by Aberdeen Performing Arts is taken from Scottish Makar Jackie Kay’s poem whose birth parents met in Aberdeen.

There are contributions from former Makar Liz Lochhead, the Welsh poet Laureate Gillian Clarke, from the multi award winning poet, Simon Armitage who is also an author, broadcaster, Professor of Poetry at Leeds University and Oxford University. There are poems in Gaelic from Aonghas MacNeacail and in Doric from Sheena Blackhall. Other poets include John Burnside, Douglas Dunn,Sinead Morrisey, Don Paterson, Alan Spence and Gerda Stevenson.

Aberdeen Performing Arts head of artistic development, Lesley Anne Rose, said: “The Music Hall is connected to so many people as a place where they have fallen in love with music, and we really wanted to represent the importance of that sentiment through this piece as we move forward into this new stage for such a beloved building.”

Gray’s School of Art graduate Andrew Cranston has illustrated each poem to create 12 dyptych works. Andrew has held numerous solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally, and is currently presenting a solo exhibition at Edinburgh’s Ingleby Gallery.

Andrew said: “As a painter, poetry has always been hugely important to me. Poems often seem a condensed form of experience and idea, what Daljit Nagra calls " an espresso shot of thought", and I think of a painting similarly reflecting, distilling and translating the world: things seen, heard and felt. With this suite of lithographs I have tried to translate the rhythms, sounds and meanings of each poem into my language: shape, space, colour, tone, line.”

Aberdeen Performing Arts chief executive, Jane Spiers, said: “ It’s wonderful to have so many new spaces to play with in the Music Hall – new hanging space for art work, our new Stepping In digital artspace and Big Sky Studio, our new performance space. The Music Hall project has taken the programme to a new level.”

Prints will be available for sale.

illustration by Andrew Cranston, inspired by Jackie Kay’s featured poem, Union Song, which features the line ‘In Love in the Music Hall’

illustration by Andrew Cranston, inspired by Jackie Kay’s featured poem, Union Song, which features the line ‘In Love in the Music Hall’

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