A brand new commission for the Music Hall’s Stepping In screen is all set to explore the romance of the daily comings and goings of sea traffic at Aberdeen harbour. Aberdeen Ships by Irish Artist Cliona Harmey explores the poetic quality of the names of the arriving and departing ships with an artwork that uses live information from the shipping traffic at Aberdeen Port.
The Stepping In screen is situated in the Music Hall’s former vestibule area through which visitors pass before entering into the main building. This re-imagined space has been transformed by a floor to celling digital screen framed by large glass doors. It is a bold statement of the Music Hall as a contemporary arts space.
Aberdeen Ships directly links city centre and harbour life, creating a form of poetic writing on the Stepping In screen. The screen is seen by everyone entering the Music Hall as well as those who pass by and this commission invites people to pause and be reminded of the sea traffic that travels in and out of the city each day.
This brand new commission is a playful engagement with technology and takes inspiration from early forms of maritime invention as well as serving as a reminder of harbour life and the city’s maritime status. Aberdeen Ships has been made possible with the engagement of Aberdeen Harbour Board and MarineTraffic.com. The work will open on the Stepping In screen on 1 April. A twitter feed of the arrival and departure variations will run @aberdeenships for the duration of the project.
Jane Spiers, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Performing Arts said: “The Music Hall Stepping In screen is a wonderful new canvas for commissioning digital art in the city. This work brings the sea into the city and reminds us that Aberdeen is a portal to the world through its busy harbour.”
Artist Cliona Harmey said: “With shipping traffic, there’s daily and seasonal patterns and flows. The ship names themselves have an amazing poetry. In the piece “Aberdeen Ships” we juxtapose the names of the arrivals and departures together which enables a kind of slow self- generating poetic writing over time.”