Full line-up of globally renowned street artists announced for Nuart Aberdeen
Thirteen artists, a range of diverse walls and the autonomy to make their own unique and vibrant mark on Aberdeen.
With six weeks to go until the buildings, walls and hidden spaces of the Granite City are transformed, the eclectic line-up of street artists for Nuart Aberdeen has been unveiled.
Artists from the United States, Norway, UK, France, Germany, Spain, Australia and Portugal will join those previously revealed for the internationally award-winning festival, which is taking place from April 18-21.
Globally renowned street artists Axel Void, Ememem, Ben Eine, Evol, Helen Bur, Hush, Julio Anaya Cabanding, Smug and Vhils join already announced Jan Vormann, Hama Woods, The Dotmasters and Anders Gjennestad aka Strok.
Martyn Reed, Director and Curator of Nuart, said: “This year’s theme explores the importance of storytelling and its relationship to the city, of narratives with the power to turn a single space into a multitude of places with different meanings to different people, stories that transcend “history” and bring in herstory, yourstory, ourstory and theirstory – whilst freeing us from narratives we no longer need.
“We’ll be engaging locals, digging deep into Doric culture, exploring the history of local merchants, creating new experiences for pensioners, memories for kids, fun for youth and space to reflect for parents. We’ll be doing this whilst continuing to attempt to give a voice to the voiceless, the marginalised and disenfranchised with art that can be approached on their own terms. We hope you’ll join and support us in attempting to achieve this. We’re humbled by this opportunity and don’t take your support for granted.”
Inspiration for the festival’s theme has come from Italo Calvino’s 1972 novel Invisible Cities, which explores the imaginable possibilities of the city. It is intended to provoke thought and debate on what Aberdeen is to each individual and what can be collectively imagined.
Whether this is a city full of towering works of art gifted by visitors from around the world, of laughing pensioners spray-painting their way to infamy, portraits hammer drilled into concrete with public walls built of LEGO and potholes filled with beautiful Victorian tiles, is up to each individual to interpret.
As well as looking up at walls, visitors to Nuart Aberdeen will need to look down, as unlike many street artists who choose to paint on building facades or gable end walls, it’s through colourful interventions repairing potholes and cracks on roads and sidewalks that Ememem will invite us to rediscover Aberdeen.
Ememem said: “It's an honour to be back with the Nuart family, what better opportunity to be introduced to Scottish potholes than with Nuart Aberdeen."
This rediscovery will be further explored through Evol, who utilises multi-layered stencil techniques to transform electric boxes, concrete planters and other familiar elements of cities into unique pieces of art.
Nuart Aberdeen is spearheaded by Aberdeen Inspired and Aberdeen City Council, with support from delivery partners Burness Paull and The McGinty’s Group.
Councillor Marie Boulton, Aberdeen City Council’s culture spokesperson, said: “Excitement is building as the countdown to Nuart Aberdeen continues and it’s fantastic to see the buzz that the programme is creating.
"The announcement of the completed line-up is another great boost for this year’s event and it promises to build on the success of recent years. Aberdeen City Council is proud to be a Nuart Aberdeen partner and our £300,000 funding commitment over three years underlines our support for building an innovative and vibrant events programme through our Aberdeen 365 strategy and City Centre Masterplan.”
Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said: “At the heart of Nuart Aberdeen is a desire to see our city walls hosting groundbreaking street art and involving our communities as active participants. We want to make art accessible to everyone and feel that the festival will encourage people to look more deeply into art and culture.
“Nuart Aberdeen brings in the very best internationally, with a diverse and very individual portfolios that will undoubtedly stimulate all ages and backgrounds - it is literally for all. However, Nuart is also about building a local legacy and will engage with schools, universities, our regeneration areas and beyond to share the positivity this world class street art festival brings.
“The festival positions Aberdeen and the region in a very different place to where it might have been perceived before. This exciting transition is making it a destination of choice for street art lovers and visitors from across the globe and giving the opportunity to not only enjoy some of the best street art on offer, but to soak up this great city and north-east culture that we are all very proud of.”