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Ignite festival sparks into life

5 April 2016

A month long festival of culture and creativity will spark into life this May across the city of Dundee.

The new programme for the Ignite Festival of Creativity 2016 was revealed today (Tuesday 5 April) and is packed full of visual art, design, craft, performances and degree shows at venues across the city.

This is the largest Ignite Dundee programme to date and includes a new strand of events entitled 'Ignite Sparks', which is a programme of specially curated activity selected to celebrate Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.

The work of Abertay University's computer artists, games designers, sound students and technical experts will be a key part of the festival, as will the degree show at DJCAD and the end of year exhibition by Dundee & Angus College students at the Gardyne and Arbroath campuses.

DCA will present the largest exhibition to date by Duncan Marquiss, recipient of the 2015 Margaret Tait award and DJCAD graduate.

The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery & Museum will continue its major exhibition Draw The Line: Old Masters to The Beano showcasing Dundee’s nationally significant fine art collection.

City Square will host two vibrant Pop Up Dundee markets, showcasing products from established and young designers plus a whole host of food from some of the cities most loved restaurants.

Dundee Rep and V&A Dundee will combine forces to present an evening of theatre design with multi-award winning set, costume and video designers Bunny Christie and Finn Ross chaired by Joyce McMillan.

The last weekend of May will see the inaugural Dundee Design Festival hit the city with four days of design events, workshops, demonstrations and exhibitions.

Ignite Sparks is a new initiative for 2016 celebrating innovation and the use of technology in new and exciting ways. The festival will host ten Ignite Sparks events including music, poetry, visual arts, dance, architecture, craft, theatre and storytelling.

Ignite Sparks highlights include:

Remembering Witch’s Blood Friday 27 May at West Ward

An immersive soundscape of voices past and present will underpin this promenade event in a dramatic industrial environment; recalling memories of those who took part in the original 1987 Witch’s Blood production. The haunting soundscape, a symphony of singing voices, spoken words and fragments of narrative both hint towards a bigger story to come and provide scope to hear recorded audio of Michael Marra singing from the original show and his daughter, Alice, singing live. An event to celebrate Dundee’s desperate past, optimistic present and exciting future.

The People's Tower: The Royal Arch

Saturday 28 May at Slessor Gardens

On a Saturday in May hundreds of people will take part in a giant participatory, temporary public art project to recreate Dundee’s Royal Arch out of cardboard boxes! Working with international artist Olivier Grossetete, members of the public will work together to rebuild the massive arch close to its original site celebrating design and construction!

A series of events thinking about the built heritage here in Dundee – what buildings are gone and what new buildings are emerging will take place alongside evening projections before the tower is toppled and trampled the following day!

Motion Capture

Tuesday 24 May, 8pm at the Hannah Maclure Centre, Abertay University

Run by dance artist Gemma Connell, The Artifact is a vehicle for pursuing collaborations between dance and other art forms. Suk-Jun Kim is a Korean composer and sound artist, based in Aberdeen. He is a lecturer in Electroacoustic Music and Sound Art and Programme Coordinator of MMus in Sonic Arts at the University of Aberdeen. In 2014, he co-founded and is the Director of sonADA (Sound Arts Days in Aberdeen), an experimental music festival in Aberdeen, UK.

Motion Capture sees two currently unrelated areas of art; music making through live coding and improvised dance, come together in an experiment live on stage.

Electroacoustic musician and live coder Suk-Jun Kim will create music through a computer, whilst two dance artists improvise movement in response. The dancers and the musicians have never met, and know nothing of each other's work, but must create a coherent piece of performance in the moment.


For media enquiries about Ignite please contact Jennie Patterson T: 07773 849586 E:

For media enquiries about the Abertay Digital Graduate show please contact Kevin Coe (Meda and Communications Director) T: 01382 308452 M: 07850 904110 E:

Notes to Editors:

Ignite - Dundee’s Festival of Creativity - is run by Abertay University, Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee & Angus College, Dundee City Council One City Many Discoveries, Dundee Rep Theatre, Leisure & Culture Dundee, University of Dundee and V&A Dundee.

The festival has received support as part of the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016, an initiative delivered by VisitScotland.

To stay up-to-date with festival events follow @ignitedundee, check out the festival's Facebook page, or visit

2016 programme highlights

Abertay Digital Graduate Show

Daily 6 - 15 May at Abertay University.

The Abertay Digital Graduate Show is an interactive and playful exposition featuring games, animation, music, programming and a whole lot more! Come along to experience the latest projects produced by this year’s Graduates and witness what the next generation of artists, game designers, technical experts and musical marvels have produced; catching a glimpse in to the future of creative technologies. The show offers a huge variety of creative and technical feats, so join us to play, watch, listen and enjoy projects produced within the University’s world-renowned School of Arts, Media and Computer Games.

DJCAD Degree Show

Daily 20 - 29 May at University of Dundee.

Annual undergraduate degree show.

Draw the Line: Old Masters to The Beano

Daily 3 - 31 May at The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery and Museum.

Major exhibition open throughout the month of May, this spectacular exhibition features portraiture, illustration, preparatory sketches, landscape and topography by historic and contemporary artists including Augustus John, Graeme Sutherland, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, Will Maclean, Thomas Gainsborough, Amelia Long, William Gillies and Ian Fleming.

Duncan Marquiss

Daily Sat 14 May - Sun 3 July at DCA.

For spring 2016 DCA is delighted to present the largest exhibition to date by Duncan Marquiss, recipient of the 2015 Margaret Tait award. Marquiss, who studied at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, took part in DCA’s The Associates exhibition in 2009. He will present a selection of his paintings, drawings and video works.

Design for the Imagination: Bunny Christie and Finn Ross in Conversation

21 May, 6.30pm at Dundee Rep Theatre.

V&A Dundee and Dundee Rep Theatre Presents Design for the Imagination: Bunny Christie and Finn Ross in Conversation. Scottish multi-award winning set, costume and video designers Bunny Christie and Finn Ross talk about their stellar design careers and creative process, including how they recently worked collaboratively on the production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, as well as discussing some of their other inspirational projects. Chaired by theatre critic Joyce McMillan.

Dundee and Angus College end of year Art and Design show

Daily 21 - 27 May at Dundee and Angus College Gardyne Campus.

Annual graduate show.

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