Posted : 11 January 2023

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.


Posted : 24 November 2022

A DOZEN new images of Dundee, all taken from the sky, have been unveiled at the city’s Waterfront.

The large framed pictures will brighten up the hoardings between Earl Grey Place West and Thomson Avenue on South Crichton Street into the New Year.

Mark Flynn convener of Dundee City council’s city development committee who revealed the images for the first time today (THURSDAY) said: “Our city is stunning from almost every angle, and seeing it from the air in a way that few of us gets to do adds another breath-taking perspective.

“At two metres tall and one and half metres across the scale of the images also means that as well as taking in the view, the level of detail in each one is amazing.”

Featuring the work of a pair of local photographers, Ben Hirst and Scott McBride, the exhibition has been unveiled in time for the city’s Christmas celebration, Winterfest, which will encourage visitors to the waterfront as well as other areas of the city.

Ben from Dundee who describes himself as: “A creative photographer with almost 15 years’ experience” sells his work, including images of the city, surrounding countryside of Perthshire and Angus and further afield through an on-line gallery.

Meanwhile Scott, who is also based in the city says he is: “Relatively new to photography and since picking up a camera, I have been hooked on the hobby”. He particularly enjoys taking time lapses of the local area and beyond.

Information about both, as well as the work on show, will also feature in the exhibition which will be in place until next year.

As well at the waterfront itself the aerial images also include the McManus, the Law and the Tay Road Bridge.

Posted : 7 April 2022

VisitScotland, ScotRail and Beano launch jointly family campaign


Famous comic strip characters Dennis & Gnasher and Minnie the Minx are the faces of a new ‘blamazing’* tourism marketing campaign to reignite families’ love of rail adventures in Scotland. 

VisitScotland and ScotRail have teamed up with Beano for the first time to promote family holidays and day trips across the country.

The two-year campaign aims to use the cross-generational appeal of one of the UK’s best-loved comics and ScotRail’s Kids for a Quid deal, to promote sustainable travel as part of Scottish tourism’s recovery.

A special landing page - - has been created with Dennis, Gnasher and Minnie highlighting places to visit in each of Scotland’s seven cities (Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Perth, Stirling), including dog-friendly days out. 

Research** on the family market by national tourism organisation, VisitScotland, found that affordability, easy transport access and nostalgia are important decision-making triggers for parents considering a UK holiday destination. Of those surveyed, children had a “big influence” on the destination for one in five families.

The campaign will target UK families through digital and print marketing to promote attractions across Scotland.

It forms part of VisitScotland’s drive for sustainable tourism in line with the national tourism strategy, Scotland Outlook 2030.

The UK family market accounts for a third of all overnight and day trips in Scotland. Prior to the pandemic, overnight stays by families saw year-on-year growth since 2016, with an average 13% increase in trips on the previous year. UK families took 2.2 million overnight family holidays in Scotland in 2019 – an increase of 15% on 2018 and the highest in ten years.

Research*** also shows that families contribute the biggest share of the tourism day trip economy in Scotland. On average, UK families take around 41.1 million day trips a year in the country, generating £2.1 billion a year.

Beano is the world’s longest-running children’s comic with an average monthly readership of 450K for children aged 6-12. It also has one of the fastest-growing kids’ digital networks in the UK, centred around the award-winning reaching 5 million children each month.

ScotRail Kids for a Quid tickets means up to four children (aged 5-15) can travel for just £1 return on off-peak and weekend journeys with every paying adult. Additionally, it also gives one free child entry to some of Scotland’s most popular attractions when purchasing a full price adult ticket at the attraction.

Vicki Miller, Director of Marketing and Digital at VisitScotland, said: “The UK family market makes up around a third of Scottish tourism trips and therefore it’s important we create fun and engaging content for parents and children as part of our tourism recovery plans.  

“By working with ScotRail and Beano we aim to raise awareness of what makes Scotland a fantastic family destination and the benefits of exploring our ‘blamazing’ sights by rail. It is particularly appropriate that we should team up with one of the UK’s best-loved children’s comics during Scotland’s Year of Stories.

“The campaign will provide a creative way to further support the recovery of the tourism industry while promoting sustainable travel experiences to the benefit of visitors, communities and our environment.”

Lesley Kane, ScotRail Commercial Director, said: “This is a fantastic partnership with Beano and we are delighted to be able to play our part in helping families enjoy Scotland by train.

“Children love the train, and our Kids for a Quid offer provides real value for money. With more than 2,000 trains running every day across the country, there is no better way to give the kids an exciting day out and create new memories for your family. 

“We are looking forward to welcoming more and more people back to our services to experience all that Scotland has to offer, by rail.”

Mike Stirling, Beano’s Director of Mischief, commented: For me, Beano has always represented the heart of Scotland's storytelling.As a kid, it was visiting new places by rail that sparked my own sense of imagination. I'd be engrossed in my comic as we left the station before glimpses of new places distracted me. On one trip, crossing the Tay Rail Bridge, a fellow passenger proudly informed me my Beano was created in my destination, Dundee. I was blown away something so cool was so close!

“The same goes for all of Scotland's seven cities. Every visit, you come away with a new story to share. Our characters are ordinary kids exploring extraordinary imaginations and I hope Minnie, Dennis and Gnasher encourage many families, pets included, to get on board and create their own memorable stories during this special year.”



*  ‘Blamazing, blamtastic, blam to the max!’ in Beano language mean ‘awesome, incredible, epic, and perfect’  





PICTURE ABOVE: VisitScotland and ScotRail have teamed up with Beano to promote family holidays and trips around Scotland by rail. Dennis (Alastair Hutchinson) and Gnasher surprise John and Summer Murray, with ScotRail conductor George MacLeod. 

PICTURE CREDIT: VisitScotland/Julie Howden. A Beano Studios Product (c) DC Thomson Ltd (2022) 





Posted : 3 March 2022


Dundee’s revamped Christmas offering was visited by over 267,500 people and generated £2.6m for the city’s economy, it was revealed today.

Christmas in Dundee 2021 featured the Winterfest event in Slessor Gardens, which included a festive market, skating rink and a big wheel, as well as a winter wonderland in City Square and new Christmas lights in the streets.

An evaluation of the Christmas activity has now been completed – and it revealed the event was hugely popular with visitors.

Plans are now being put in place to ensure Dundee city centre is once again the place to be, for locals and visitors alike, during the 2022 Christmas period.

Councillor Mark Flynn, convener of city development, said: “We promised we'd build a bigger and better celebration for Christmas 2021 and that’s what we’ve achieved.

“There was a real buzz about the town, with activities for young and old alike, and that’s now being borne out in the evaluation.

“The surveys that were done with hundreds of visitors showed that 90% rated the event as good or very good, while 88% had a more positive impression of Dundee due to the activities.

“The visitor numbers between City Square and Slessor Gardens are fantastic, and the direct economic impact of £2.6million shows that our ambitious plans for Christmas have really made their mark on the city.

“By whatever measure you look at – the enjoyment of those who attended or the economic impacts of the event – it’s been a huge success.”

A team of evaluators conducted site surveys to measure social and economic impact and to monitor the audience demographics and event experience.

The survey found that over two-thirds said attending had a very positive impact on their health and wellbeing. A further 68% said that the event helped with "quality time with my family.”

Economic impact findings included: just under three in 10 people who attended were visitors to the city; and 84 temporary jobs were created.

Councillor John Alexander, leader of the city council, said: “I want the kind of superb Christmas offering that Dundee had in 2021 to be a permanent fixture, and we are already planning for this year.

“That doesn’t mean it has to be exactly the same – we want to learn from 2021 so that we can build and improve.

“We also want to harness the positivity and get others on board, particularly businesses who might want to get involved and help us to offer something even bigger and better next year.”

Christmas In Dundee 2021 was funded by Dundee City Council, with support from Event Scotland.

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s director of events, said: “We were delighted to support Christmas in Dundee 2021 through Scotland’s Events Recovery Fund, established by EventScotland in conjunction with funding from the Scottish Government.

“Scotland is the perfect stage for events and it is wonderful to see the positive impact the Christmas activity had on visitors and the community as a whole. It reinforces the important role events play both to our communities and the country as a whole.”

A spokesperson for M&N Events, organisers of Winterfest, said: “We are overjoyed at the positive impact WinterFest created for visitors and for the city of Dundee, and glad that our investment in the event was able to contribute to a more festive feel in the city.

“We are delighted that so many people were able to enjoy a Christmas event of this scale where they were able to have fun and feel safe. We are very excited to be able to bring a bigger and better WinterFest to Dundee for 2022 and are already working on ways we can deliver this.”

Posted : 19 January 2022

Staybridge Suites in Dundee has made it into a top 10 list for the most pet-friendly hotels in the UK ranking seventh by the Daily Record, based on the Google reviewed hotels across the country.

With more and more households across the UK now owning dogs, there's never been a better time to enjoy a stay away with your four-legged favourite.

Set in a converted 200-year-old jute mill, the popular Dundee-based hotel is well known for catering for dogs on a stay away in the city.

Newly refurbished ground-floor apartment suites offer great convenience for dog lovers, with plenty of room and dog beds and water bowls on offer if needed.

The hotel also allows pooches to chill out in the communal lounge area where breakfast is served.

It's also the ideal base for people looking to explore everything the city of Discovery has to offer, along with a brilliant close-by cycle path that's ideal for walking and follows the River Tay, see more...

Feature by Sean Murphy :-- Tourism Writter


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Posted : 17 January 2022

Condé Nast Traveller - The Scottish renaissance city

The revival of Dundee, by Danny Wallace

Dundee’s ascendance as one of the UK’s must-visit cultural destinations continues unabated after the opening of the dramatic waterside V&AScotland’s first design museum.

As for food, there's exciting Scottish cuisine by Masterchef winner Jamie Scott at waterfront restaurant The Newport, where you can see beautiful sunsets over the River Tay from its windows (and stay the night in one of its four bedrooms). For a longer stay, try the recently-opened Staybridge Suites, in a cleverly-converted former jute mill. And explore the town on one of the 300 new e-bikes which were installed across the city from July 2021 – keep an eye out for the redevelopment of West Ward Works, a print factory that made DC Thomson’s Beano and Dandy annuals, that will eventually host live performances, festivals and exhibitions, and become a base for designers, artists and other creative workers and companies. By Giovanna Dunmall

Picture by:-  ©HuftonCrow

Posted : 24 November 2021

With the illumination of Dundee’s brand-new Christmas lights on Friday night, it’s certainly starting to look like Christmas in Dundee, and the excitement is set to continue to rise with the commencement of activities in City Square, and the opening of Winterfest in Slessor Gardens in the coming days.

Event Scotland have supported the team at Dundee City Council to create Christmas in Dundee, crafting a winter wonderland in the City Square. From December 2nd-24th, the square is playing its part the city’s Christmas celebrations.

Nightly projections on the City Chambers and illuminated wishing fountains will sparkle into the evening, and those in the mood to get the ultimate festive selfie can head to the specially-commissioned Beano 3D Dundee Christmas Card filled with the comic’s best-loved characters.

Dundee’s iconic Pingoo will return too, and those wishing to help those most in need can donate gifts at Social Bite’s Tree of Kindness. Throughout the celebrations, there will be a free-to-enjoy activity tent, with a jam-packed schedule of festive workshops and the opportunity to write letters to Santa.

Visitors to the city centre can also check out the new “living tree” which is lit up outside the City Churches, with one of the area’s majestic evergreens chosen to take pride of place for the celebrations.

Friday November 26th will see the kick-off of Winterfest in Dundee’s Slessor Gardens. A celebration of all things festive, visitors can book a slot at the stunning new ice rink, then enjoy breathtaking views from the illuminated Big Wheel. They can also stroll through the Christmas Market picking up treats, then heat up at the Bavarian-themed bar with a delicious hot chocolate or mulled wine.

Taking to the ice at Winterfest, Council leader Councillor John Alexander said: “There’s been a real sense of excitement building in Dundee over the past few weeks as the fantastic new Christmas offering comes together.

“It’s great to see the new lights up, Winterfest getting ready to open in a couple of days and of course lots happening in the City Square throughout December. Businesses are gearing up too and it’ll be a busy few weeks for our shops, bars and restaurants.

“We promised we'd look to build a bigger and better celebration this festive period and I think we have delivered. So, get your skates on and come down to see everything the city has to offer this Christmas.”

Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events for VisitScotland, said: "We are delighted to support Christmas in Dundee through Scotland’s Events Recovery Fund, established by EventScotland in conjunction with funding from the Scottish Government.

"Events play an important role in our communities, enabling us all to connect, enjoy and share memorable experiences. Having them in our calendar further strengthens Scotland’s outlook and position as a world-leading events destination and reinforces Scotland’s place as the perfect stage for events.

"The variety of activities on offer across the programme, highlights that there is truly set to be something for everyone in Dundee this forthcoming winter season.”

Posted : 4 August 2021

A landmark site on Dundee’s £1billion waterfront has been officially opened.

Waterfront Place, which will include the city’s urban beach, an active travel hub, landscaping and interactive play area was given the official seal of approval by John Alexander, leader of Dundee City Council, at a ceremony on the site adjacent to V&A Dundee.

He said: “This is one of the prime spots on the whole of the waterfront and right from the planning stage it was important that it could be accessed and used by everyone.

“Anyone who comes along will see for themselves the quality of the work, which was in itself a key part of our desire to attract people here, not just from the city but across Scotland, so that they could truly experience the re-established connection between the city and the river.

“Work started in February 2020, and was obviously slightly delayed by the pandemic, but we wanted to officially open the site now, at the height of summer, despite finishing touches still going on in some places.”

Costing just over £6m, the work at Waterfront Place received £1m of funding from the Scottish Government's European Regional Development Fund programme through the Low Carbon Travel and Transport Challenge Fund delivered by Transport Scotland. The fund has a focus on supporting projects which enable everyday functional journeys to be taken by walking, cycling and public transport and to support an increased proportion on ultra-low emission vehicles on Scotland’s roads.

The project was developed by contractors Morgan Sindall Construction and Infrastructure Limited and when complete in the next few weeks will include a stainless-steel whale sculpture designed by award-winning British artist Lee Simmons.

Formed in tubular sections that follow the contours of the creature, the structure will flow from the northern entrance of Waterfront Place with the tail arching towards the Tay to capture a sense of movement.

Visitors to the park will also enjoy a multi-sensory experience using both sound and light with stainless steel tubular like maze structures representing kelp-like forests or water columns.

Cllr Alexander added: “What we will see here by the end of the summer when this project is complete will be tangible evidence of the further progress being made at the waterfront.

“It forms the next step forward in our phased and managed growth at the waterfront and the months and years ahead will see much more to come on the other sites across the area.”

The urban beach opens today (Thursday) and with greater access to the main landscaped area due by the end of the month and the water feature and dunes due in early September the installation of the whale sculpture and opening of the play area will complete the project by the end of next month.

Posted : 8 October 2020

V&A Dundee has partnered with designer Kerrie Alexander and textile innovators Halley Stevensons to produce its first limited-edition fashion collaboration.


Museum, maker and manufacturer have united to create the Dundee Raincoat, a modern-day unisex raincoat inspired by the city’s innovation, creativity and resilience.


Designed and hand produced by independent fashion label KerrieALDO, the raincoat is made using waterproof waxed cotton, a performance fabric Halley Stevensons has pioneered the development of for over 150 years, and continue to manufacture at its Baltic Works factory in Dundee.


Following the KerrieALDO design philosophy of slow, sustainable fashion, each of the 20 numbered raincoats and matching bags were hand-cut and crafted using new unique patterns created for the collaboration.  


The unisex fit raincoat, available in navy and orange, features signature KerrieALDO finishes such as coloured trims and an inner patch pocket made from Ancient Dundee Old Heavy Weight Tartan, a pattern which has not been used for 160 years and was recently resurrected by the Ben Nevis Handloom Weavers of Dundee.


Kerrie Alexander, founder of KerrieALDO, said: “Partnering with a design museum and a textile factory to design the ultimate contemporary raincoat has been a brilliant experience.  


“I came across ‘the slicker’, a hooded coat worn by fisherman in the archives at Halley Stevensons, and this has had a big influence on the design of the coat, as has V&A Dundee’s contemporary architecture.   


“As well as using superior fabrics like Halley Stevensons’ waxed cotton, a great design is always about the intricate details such as contrast detailing and pocket placement, right down to the very last stitch. The coat has lots of special details to the inner which illustrate the level of care and attention that has gone into each piece.


“A collar was discussed at an early design meeting, but having grown up in Dundee, I knew a hood was an essential feature of the Dundee Raincoat, to deal with the unpredictable Scottish weather!


“Designing a bag to match was a fun addition to the project. The bag is similar to the coat design in that it comes in two colour-ways with opposing contrast details. The pocket on the bag features a window-like opening to reveal a new colour, which reminded me of looking out to the Tay from the windows of the museum.”


James Campbell, Managing Director at Halley Stevensons, said: “The Dundee Raincoat combines authentic heritage with contemporary style which will be available at V&A Dundee’s design shop. We are delighted to have collaborated on this exceptional piece of design.


“Halley Stevensons is pretty unique in that we work in the same way with large brands as we do with smaller artisan labels such as KerrieALDO. There’s an understanding with our clients that we help them in any way we can, and they are part of our research and development with the feedback they give us in return. It’s an added bonus for us to watch brands develop with our product.


Our collaborative process is always the same and we are exceptionally proud when we can support younger labels such as Kerrie’s.”


Christian Moire, Director of Operations at V&A Dundee, said:

“Our visitors tell us they are interested in supporting independent designers and shopping for unique items that have a local connection.  Dundee based, Halley Stevensons supply international brands with their high-quality waxed cotton, so it was a natural fit for us to collaborate with them and KerrieALDO. We are excited to launch the Dundee Raincoat this Autumn and to have worked with two very inspiring independent businesses.”


The limited edition run of 20 Dundee Raincoats feature an embroidered number on the inner pocket and are available exclusively from the shop at V&A Dundee, 1 Riverside Esplanade, Dundee. The coat will retail for £200 and the matching bag for £45.


V&A Dundee is open 10.00 to 17.00, Thursday to Monday, with advance booking now required for all visitors.


Free museum entry can be booked at


Photography by:  Julie Howden


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