An “extraordinary” kinetic sculpture trail will arrive in Aberdeen for 11 days next month – and city art bosses say it will mark a return to people enjoying arts in the city centre.
Restless Worlds will see moving installations in windows and public spaces offering “magical worlds” created by some of Scotland’s leading sculptors, animators and puppeteers at eight sites around the city centre, from May 6 to 16.
The art walk is being staged in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow by Puppet Animation Scotland under the banner of its MANIPULATE Festival, with Aberdeen Performing Arts as partners in the Granite City.
Ben Torrie, director of programming and creative projects for APA, said: “We’re looking forward to bringing some much needed joy and offering something for everyone to look forward to. The sculptures and artwork are extraordinary and take in some iconic locations around the city so we are looking forward to sharing them.
“More than that, right now, it’s a step back to enjoying artistic experiences like we all love to do, but have been deprived of in the past 12 months.”
Stories get more ridiculous
The eight artists commissioned to create the works have been inspired by Boccaccio’s 1353 novel The Decameron.
Ben said: “It is about a group of 10 people quarantining from a plague, who are telling each other stories to pass the time, stories which get ever more ridiculous. It was like a lockdown for them, the 14th century version of Covid-19.”
While all eight sites have yet to be confirmed, Ben said one, possibly two, sculptures will be in the glass foyer of His Majesty’s Theatre. Wherever the sculptures are, they can be viewed from the street, keeping the trail Covid-secure.
Ben said: “The full experience involves purchasing a ticket and downloading the full map and all the detailed information about the pieces, with an accompanying soundtrack of both music and narrative.
“I think in and of itself it’s a really interesting artwork trail and hopefully will take people by surprise. You will have little moments of curiosity as you are going about the city centre.”
Enjoy as you wander around the city
Restless Worlds had been planned as part of the MANIPULATE festival, but was postponed due to Covid-19 restrictions, as the event moved online in February.
Dawn Taylor, Puppet Animation Scotland’s director said: “We are so excited to finally be able to share these works with the public after having to postpone our original plans due to the lockdown.
“The installation features both leading Scottish artists and exciting emerging new voices, who between them have an extraordinary range of backgrounds, including puppetry, sculpture, filmmaking, object theatre, photography, generative design and theatre.
“After so long without access to theatres and galleries, Restless Worlds offers audiences a really unique and distinctive Covid-safe arts experience – part exhibition, part storytelling, and something you can enjoy at your own pace as you wander around the city.”
To find out more and purchase tickets, visit