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Year roundup 1


Acclaimed artists from around the world set to head to Aberdeen this June.

An exciting line-up of artists, including the internationally acclaimed Thiago Mazza (Brazil), Swoon (USA) and UK-based artist Stanley Donwood and artist duo SNIK, will descend on the Granite City this June to create murals and art on the city’s walls as part of Nuart Aberdeen.

In total 13 globally renowned street artists hailing from Brazil, the USA, Europe, the UK and Iran will come together to create breath-taking pieces of street art using walls in Aberdeen city centre as the canvas for their work.

The line up of artists revealed for the 2023 festival, which runs from Thursday, June 8 until Sunday, June 11 will draw inspiration for their creations from the festival’s ‘Rewilding’ theme and will come together in the city with the common aim of strengthening the connection of people and communities to the city through their art.

The award-winning festival, made possible by partnership from Aberdeen Inspired and Aberdeen City Council, has so far resulted in more than 50 stunning works spread across the city centre and it is expected that the contributions of this year’s artists will further elevate and enhance the reputation of Aberdeen as a leading street art destination.

Adrian Watson, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said: “What we have unveiled today is a world class line up of street artists for our world class festival.

“Since its launch in 2017 Nuart Aberdeen has grown in significance and scale, resulting in the city now being one of the most highly ranked places to visit and take in the best street art around the globe.

“The festival is highly respected amongst the street artist community. Whilst artists leave their mark for us to enjoy, they take with them fond memories and stories to tell others about the Granite City and the part they have played in adding to its rich cultural heritage.

“Notably, Nuart Aberdeen delivers so much more than outstanding art on our great city’s walls, it also delivers significant benefits to businesses, community groups and individuals. Since its conception the involvement of communities and building legacy has sat at its core. Over the years the artists have worked with hundreds of locals to create and explore the festival’s theme, with the most iconic being the work of the ‘Graffiti Grannies’ back in 2019 which can still be seen in the Adelphi today. This year will be no different and we will soon announce how hundreds of young people can get involved in making their mark as part of this year’s event.

“Nuart Aberdeen connects people to place, it brings people into the city centre all year to enjoy Aberdeen’s unique open air art gallery. I am excited to see what unfolds this year and we look forward to welcoming the artists and crew to Aberdeen in June.”

Nuart’s curator and creator Martyn Reed added: “Looking at this year’s programme, I couldn’t be happier, it’s testament to the hard work from all involved and the welcome that Aberdeen’s citizens have given to Nuart these past years, that without exception, everyone we reach out to, says yes, they’d love to come to the city.

“Word has spread, and continues to do so, about just what an incredibly unique and authentic city and project we’ve created together. And despite greater societal issues and the challenges faced by the high street, we hope to continue contributing to shifting things, however incrementally, towards a richer, fairer and more inclusive relationship to art and culture. I can’t wait to get started on 2023.”

Whilst there is a strong international flavour to the artist line up this year, UK and Scottish talent will also be showcased. Returning to Aberdeen for the second time, UK duo SNIK will once again unleash their male/female dual perspective on the city.

In 2021 SNIK created a piece entitled ‘We Begin’ for Nuart Aberdeen. Located on the now-demolished Aberdeen Market building, this is the sister piece to its Norwegian counterpart ‘Gone Believer’ which can be seen in Stavanger and was part of Nuart Stavanger 2018.

SNIK have received international acclaim for their work which combines the creation of hand-cut, multi-layered stencils with haunting ethereal portraiture.

Commenting on their return to Aberdeen, SNIK said: “We are incredibly excited to be back in Aberdeen! Our influences feed directly from nature, and ‘rewilding’ is a triumph for the living world.

The 13 artists forming the festival line up this year are SNIK (UK), Aida Wilde (IR), Thiago Mazza (BR), Swoon (US), Tamara Alves (PT), Escif (ES), Manolo Mesa (ES), Eloise Gillow (UK/ES), Jamie Reid (UK), Murmure (FR), NeSpoon (PL), Stanley Donwood (UK) and KMG (UK/SCOTLAND).

Caledonia Curry, whose world-renowned work appears under the name Swoon, will be temporarily swapping the streets of Brooklyn for Aberdeen to create a rare piece for the festival. She is the first woman to gain large-scale recognition in the male-dominated world of street art and has been transforming the world with her immersive installations, wheatpaste portraits, and community-based social justice projects for over two decades.

A real coup for the festival is securing artist, writer, producer and filmmaker Stanley Donwood (UK) who has created all the Radiohead album artwork since 1994. Stanley has also become synonymous with the posters and merchandise of Glastonbury festival. His work has deep seated roots into the elements of the landscape as can be seen in his mural titled ‘Nether’ on Walcot Street in Bath.

Iranian-born, London-based printmaker/visual artist and educator, Aida Wilde, last created a piece for Nuart Aberdeen in 2021 and will return this June to add a new work to the mix. Aida’s work has featured on city streets around the world where she produces responsive commentary works on gentrification, education, and equality.

Adding to the international flavour are Portuguese visual artist and illustrator, Tamara Alves, Spanish mural painter, Escif, and urban artist Manolo Mesa, along with Brazilian born Thiago Mazza, who is known in the contemporary urban art scene for his mastery in the representation of flora.

Tamara’s work invokes a universe of human and animal figures in interaction with the natural landscape and objects imbued with a strong symbolic charge that invite us to embrace feelings as a wild and untamed driving force. She has previously visited Aberdeen as part of the team behind the Graffiti Grannies project, as well as creating a painted door on Little Belmont Street. Escif has been active in the street art scene since the late 1990s. His work mainly focuses on the resignification of the city. This comes from the statement that ‘life will always be more interesting art’.

Manolo Mesa started out painting graffiti with his older brother in 2002. Today his work has evolved and he has had mural interventions throughout Europe and in locations as far flung as South Africa, India, and the United States.

UK born Eloise Gillow and Jamie Reid are both also joining the line-up of artists for this year’s Nuart Aberdeen. Currently based in Barcelona, Eloise creates imagery that invites the viewer to reflect on where and how they find vitality, moments of slowing down and reaching into a deeper undercurrent of connection to themselves, each other, and the natural world.

Perhaps best known for designing album covers for the British punk rock band The Sex Pistols, Jamie Reid co-founded the radical political magazine, Suburban Press, and will bring his unique style of cut-up graphics and slogans to Aberdeen.

French street artist duo Murmure will showcase their signature style to Aberdeen. Made up of Paul Ressencourt and Simon Roché, Murmure explore themes in a fun and poetic way to share their vision of the world. Most of their work starts with a graphite pencil drawing to obtain a profound depth in shading and a realistic rendering. Once taken to conclusion and installed on site, the final piece will interact with its urban environment.

works on the border of urban art with ceramics, sculpture and painting, using lace is their signature style. To them, lace harbours harmony, balance and a sense of natural order, something that Nespoon thinks everyone is instinctively searching for.

Completing the line-up is KMG, a native Aberdonian and Scottish-based artist who explores and confronts themes from the mundane to the precarious through the use of characters which allow the viewer to connect with the work.

Anyone wanting to get a flavour of the festival before visiting can view the current Aberdeen Nuart murals here. Plan a self-guided tour route here.

View the full artists biographies and previous mural work here.