The full line-up for Aberdeen’s street art festival Nuart Aberdeen has been revealed.
A total of 11 artists from across the world will descend on the city in early June with the goal of creating art that people will make a connection with on the city’s walls and spaces.
Included in the line up of inspiring national and international street artists is Norwegian street artist Martin Whatson who created a mural on Queen Street as part of the first ever street art festival in 2017. His mural, featuring a golfer was hugely popular with the crowds and a few locals were also given the opportunity to create their own graffiti tags as part its his creation.
Brought to the city by the Business Improvement District, Aberdeen Inspired and Aberdeen City Council, the multi-award winning Nuart Aberdeen has transformed the streetscape of the Granite City. Commenting on the return of the festival, Adrian Watson, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Inspired said “At its heart Nuart Aberdeen is all about connecting people with the city through the art that is created by the talented street artists which the festival draws.
“Nuart Aberdeen has helped put the city on the map in terms of its cultural offering and it has changed the face of the city since it first began in 2017. Over the years we have played host to ground breaking street artists and delivered projects that have involved participants from all walks of life and we are excited to see what people make of this years programme of events when it is announced soon.
“The local legacy that the festival has created is evident across the city with people of all ages from schools, universities and local communities inspired to create and be part of the festival. The people of Aberdeen can expect a festival like no other and we know that it will attract people from near and far to the city to explore the art and all the city has to offer.
“I look forward to the festivals return in June and urge people to come along and soak up all this great city has to offer.”
Hailing from Stavanger in Norway, the first Nuart festival took place in 2001 under the direction and curation of its creator Martyn Reed whose ambition has always been to bring art to the masses.
The theme of the festival this year is ‘RECONNECT’ which has been driven by the uncertainty and radical disconnection of the past two years of lockdown and social distancing. Reed’s hope is that Nuart Aberdeen’s “Reconnect” edition can help to dial down the background anxiety that had become part of our daily lives. He told us “We have connected with artists, academics and industry professionals from across the globe to explore and present the very best that this culture has to offer for Nuart Aberdeen.
“I think the theme of ‘Reconnect’, is pretty self explanatory. We're aware of the connections we've stretched to the limit or lost during two years of pandemic and enforced isolation. If art presented in a festival format is good for anything, then it's making connections. Art to people, people to place, to the city, to each other, across borders, genders and race. At the very least, I'm hoping it inspires someone to pick up the phone and call their mum. I'd consider that a win.”
Also in the artists line up is Scottish stencil artist James Klinge who makes his festival debut and Spanish artist and activist Jofre Oliveras’ whose murals promise new connections with the city’s spaces.
The global appeal and influence of the festival is demonstrated by the inclusion of Spanish artist Pejac who will make a rare appearance as part of the event. Pejac mainly paints with black to create silhouetted figures and shadows but sometimes uses splashes of colour to show them in a smart and poetic manner in both playful and serious scenes. His creations have enchanted audiences around the world and it’s a real coup to secure his place in the 2022 lineup.
Portuguese artist Nuno Viegas was originally on the artist line up for the cancelled 2020 edition but secretly visited the city as part of a ‘lockdown edition’. His clean and minimal work draws on traditional graffiti for inspiration. Nuno is looking forward to returning to the city and told us “We are finally going to make it happen! 2020 was marked by the Lockdown Edition after covid ruined our plans and stopped us all from travelling. It feels great now to join the Nuart Aberdeen family in person once again for the Aberdeen jam!"
Large scale murals will be a feature of the 2022 festival with Barcelona-based Slim Safont’s striking murals promising to offer intriguing links to our daily lives and popular Copenhagen-based muralist JACOBA aiming to creatively disrupt our sense of disconnection and indifference.
As a first the festival also welcome London-based artist and activist for trans rights Erin Holly, whose studio and street-based practice are making an international impact and Spanish artist Elisa Capdevila’s whose large scale murals promise evocative slices of life reconnected, while Moroccan artist Mohamed L'Ghacham will recreate resonant scenes from everyday life.
Completing the line up is artist Miss.Printed from Norway who is sure to delight and surprise with her delicate miniature paper collages which will be placed in the streets.
Aberdeen City Council are a key funding partner for the festival and Aberdeen City Council Leader, Jenny Laing told us “The city is delighted to welcome back Nuart Aberdeen, and I expect residents and the public at large will be excited by the announcement that the festival is back and the line up of artists. As a major funding partner, it has been incredibly pleasing to see the impact Nuart Aberdeen has on the city. It has truly captured the hearts and minds of the public and we hope to continue to build on that success to further position Aberdeen as a city with a rich and varied cultural offering that locals and visitors from near and far can enjoy.”
Nuart Aberdeen takes place from 9 to 12 June 2022. News on the UK’s leading Street Art symposium with creative professionals and academics from across the globe will be announced in the coming weeks alongside a few other very special announcements. There will also be a full programme of public events and tours during the festival weekend.