Two billboards, installed as part of this year’s Nuart Aberdeen festival, are designed to be changed rotating through proposed works from local, national and international artists.
Created in partnership with Nuart (Stavanger), the billboards are partnered with Stavanger’s own Nuart Billboard project which has seen some of the world’s leading Street Artists producing work in public space garnering press and interest from across the globe and will give more artists opportunities to produce and showcase their work.
Dubbed the ‘Nuart Twin Billboards’ for twin cities, it’s a step towards closer collaboration in both business and culture between Aberdeen and Stavanger, friendship cities with close ties in industry that the project hopes to expand into art and culture. The billboards, which can be seen from Union Square’s Market Street car park, originally hosted a production by UK based artist, Dr D, have now been unveiled to contain two new artworks.
The new artworks see Painted Doors artist Katie Guthrie once again collaborate with Nuart alumni NIMI or Norway.
The Nuart Aberdeen festival, which is delivered by business organisation Aberdeen Inspired in partnership with Nuart Festival and Aberdeen City Council, attracted thousands of visitors to the city between 12 – 15
April and continues draw crowds through free weekly walking tours.
The festival once again saw a team of international, national and local artists develop their latest works on walls around the city centre. Including artists from Argentina, Lithuania, Norway, Portugal and other parts of the UK.
Adrian Watson, chief executive officer at Aberdeen Inspired said: “To be able to keep the momentum of this year’s Nuart Aberdeen festival going throughout the year is a unique opportunity.
“Being able to offer the chance for local and national artists to submit their artworks and for residents and visitors to be able to enjoy a new artwork every few months only builds on the wonderful legacy that is being created and adds to the appeal of the festival as a whole.
“Preparatory work has already started for the 2019 edition of the festival.”
Martyn Reed, Nuart Director said: “Street Artists have been altering adverts and billboards for decades with limited success.
Of course artists resources are no match for large advertising companies and obviously never will be, it struck me a while ago, that it would make far more sense to have our own “art” billboards, and who knows, one
day our cities could be host to a dynamic rotating art gallery offering artists an opportunity to reach vast audiences, it follows our desire to make art part of people’s everyday lives in the same manner that advertising is.”
One of the artworks is by Naeem Searle (NIMI), a member of the Nuart Aberdeen alumni having this year produced the mural depicting the Green Lady of Crathes at Caledonian House on Union Row.
The second artwork is produced by Katie Guthrie (KMG), a resident artist and illustrator who has focused on exhibiting, mural design and commercial projects.
Katie was one of the first to produce a striking public artwork in the city centre, as part of the inaugural Painted Doors in 2016, also spearheaded by Aberdeen Inspired. In April 2018, she collaborated with the Norwegian duo when they produced the Green Lady, at Caledonian House.
Katie, resident artist said: “After having a great time working with NIMI during NUART festival earlier this year it’s awesome to have the opportunity to display work alongside his.
One of the best aspects of NUART is the opportunities it’s brought local artists to meet and form friendships with visiting artists, as well as strengthening our relationship with Stavanger and the NUART festival there, which I know a fair few of us are planning to visit in September.”
Aberdeen Inspired is the banner under which the Aberdeen Business Improvement District (BID) operates. It is a business-led initiative within the city centre in which levy payers within the BID zone contribute.
Proceeds are used to fund projects designed to improve the business district. Due to its on-going success, the organisation won 2017 European BID of the Year in July.