Image by Matt Rowe, courtesy of Art Night - Zadie Xa, 'Child of Magohalmi and the Echos of Creation' (2019) at Walthamstow Library, co-commissioned by Art Night, Tramway, Yarat and De La Warr.
In 2023, internationally renowned contemporary art festival Art Night will deliver its first full iteration in a city outside London - in Dundee. In June 2023, over one packed weekend, organisers will present ten major new commissions in civic spaces across the city by internationally significant and emerging artists. The free festival will be brought to Dundee in partnership with Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA). The scheduled date is the evening of the 24th of June 2023. Art Night will also collaborate with V&A Dundee; Creative Dundee; NeoN Digital Arts; Cooper Gallery, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design (DJCAD) at the University of Dundee; GENERATORprojects; Dundee City Council; Dundee Heritage Trust, and Hospitalfield, Arbroath.
The commissions will comprise ambitious live events, installations and performances and be presented in well-known Dundee locations, bringing to audiences and participants world-class cultural opportunities in the city.
Art Night has delivered four editions of the festival in London (2016-2019) in collaboration with major partners such as The Hayward Gallery and the ICA and showing work by globally significant artists such as Barbara Kruger; Joan Jonas; Zadie Xa; Celia Hempton; Mark Leckey; Christine Sun Kim; Frances Stark and Alberta Whittle. One edition took place across the UK and online (2021) during the Pandemic, including an outdoor commission by the Guerrilla Girls in Dundee, which was also installed in further sites across Scotland, England and Wales alongside other works and projects. The Dundee festival will be the first time a full festival has taken place in a city outside London. Since 2019, Art Night has been curated by Artistic Director Helen Nisbet, a Shetland and London based curator and a team of curators and project workers based in Dundee.
Helen Nisbet, Artistic Director of Art Night
Art Night Dundee will take place primarily around the city centre of Dundee. Many of the commissions will be developed in partnership with local communities and the majority will be developed as co-commissions with local, national and international partners. Local artists and arts workers will be employed by the festival. Some works will be installed longer than the ‘festival’ weekend for audiences to engage with across the summer of 2023, and one work will be gifted to a local collection after the project ends, creating further legacy of the festival in the city. It can be announced now that one commission will be a new work by Turner Prize winning artist Tai Shani.
Joe Namy, 'The Eighth Automobile' (2019), Live performance at Sainsbury's Rooftop in Walthamstow, commissioned for Art Night 2019 and part of the London Borough of Culture in Waltham Forest programme. Photo by Rama Knight, courtesy of Art Night
Artistic Director of Art Night, Helen Nisbet said, “We are beyond delighted to announce that our first full national festival will be in Dundee. Dundee is an excellent city which is very close to my heart due to formative experiences in the city and the people I’ve met here. Dundee is a tremendous venue for Art Night, it has a vibrant cultural scene and strong social history and we will collaborate with inspiring partners to commission new work by globally important artists and work with local people to deepen our knowledge of the city. Art Night will bring a festival atmosphere to the city and wider area and kick off the summer of festivals in Scotland in 2023. I look forward to telling you more plans soon, including the artists we will work with and more about the gorgeous and rich locations works will take place within”. The programme will be free to attend, as with every edition of Art Night. Since its inaugural edition, Art Night has also engaged with a wide range of audiences, exhibiting work in everyday places such as libraries, parks and squares, places of worship, shopping centres and car parks.
Beth Bate, Director, DCA, added, "We're thrilled to be partnering with Art Night to bring this exciting programme of new commissions to Dundee. Our city, with its lively visual arts scene and world class galleries and museums, is a perfect location for Art Night's first full festival outside London, and we can't wait to share the full programme with our audiences." Art Night Dundee is funded by The National Lottery through Creative Scotland.
Kirsteen Macdonald, Visual Arts Officer at Creative Scotland said: “This is a hugely exciting development for Dundee and art lovers across the city and beyond. Art Night Dundee is the result of excellent partnership working across the region combined with the strong artistic vision of curator Helen Nisbet. The festival will provide a unique opportunity to support an exciting group of artists to reach new audiences beyond traditional gallery spaces, reimagining the city and bringing people together in new experiences.”
Mark Flynn, convener of Dundee City Council’s city development committee said:- “I am delighted that Dundee will be the first venue outside London to host the unveiling of so many ambitious live events, installations and performances developed in partnership with local communities. The city’s reputation as a visitor attraction of choice for its heritage and culture can only be cemented with the announcement of such a prestigious and creative event happening here.”
The artist line up will be revealed later in 2023.