Imaginary record store art sure to top charts at Aberdeen festival

From left, artist Janie Nicoll, deputy director festival Hilary Nicoll and artist Chris Biddlecombe.

A fantasy record store is to open as part of an Aberdeen art festival.

Record sleeves and tour posters for imaginary bands will be on show at Seventeen on Aberdeen’s Belmont Street, the former site of One Up Records.

Record Store, by Obstacle Soup, opens on Saturday as part of this year’s Look Again festival.

It is inspired by the cross-over between music and art.

Janie Nicoll, one half of the duo behind the project, said: “Record Store plays with the notion of the real and the imaginary, with sound and vision, and how they inter-relate.

“Many visual artists have been in bands or have been involved in the process of making music in one way or another.

“This project has given visual artists the opportunity to scratch this creative itch, to develop artworks, in the form of 12-in record covers, singles and posters for imaginary bands that have only previously existed as vague ideas.”

The space will showcase work from a collaboration that involves 36 artists from across Scotland, including 12 new works from artists who have a North-east connection.

Viewers are urged to imagine what the bands might sound like just by looking at the artworks.

There have been three previous outings of the project, which first showed in Glasgow in 2012.

It began with 12-in record sleeves and grew to include singles and touring posters.

Imaginary bands have developed for each show, with some splitting up or going off in new directions.

Sally Reaper, festival director said: “Record Store is a great example of the ethos of Look Again – bringing together the best talent from across our creative community to deliver a visual art and design festival that makes people sit up and take a new look at the familiar – ultimately asking them to become tourists in their own city.”

Record Store will run longer than the festival itself – from Saturday to Saturday, May 20 – and launches to coincide with World Record Store Day.

The five-day Look Again festival celebrates visual art and design and showcases projects by internationally recognised artists around the city.

It runs from next Thursday to Monday, May 1.