Nuart Aberdeen, a new international platform, is designed to not only present the most interesting and relevant Street Art of its time, but to also activate and inspire an emergent local scene whilst encouraging creative collaborations with twin city Stavanger.
Developed in collaboration with Aberdeen Inspired and Aberdeen City Council, Nuart Aberdeen will provide a platform for local, national and international artists to showcase their work through a series of site-specific murals, installations, interventions, and temporary exhibitions. The festival takes place from Thursday 12 – Sunday 15 April and will be supplemented by a conference program, film screenings, walking tours and workshops over four days.
Leading the line-up is Portugese artist Bordalo II, fresh from his first US solo show at Heron Arts in San Francisco and on the week of the release of a new short documentary about his work, A Life of Waste, by Trevor Whelan and Rua Meegan. Bordalo II participated in Nuart Festival in Stavanger in 2015 and has since gone on to establish himself as one of the world’s leading street artists.
Nuart 2015 in Stavanger was one of my first festivals and best experiences to date. It will be great to reunite with the team again after all these years. I’ve already started researching Scottish wildlife and nature, and am looking forward to producing something unique for the people of Aberdeen this April. — Bordalo II
In collaboration with children from four local schools, ‘craftivist’ Carrie Reichardt will embellish the city streets with images and stories plucked from Aberdeen’s historic archives, recognised by UNESCO for their outstanding historical importance to the UK. Currently artist-in-residence at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon, Carrie has already taken time out of her busy schedule to visit Aberdeen and explore the collection.
I’m honoured to be invited to take part in Nuart Aberdeen 2018 and to find out more about Aberdeen’s rich heritage through the city’s incredible historical archives. My work is usually produced site specifically with a focus on people’s history in order to shine a light on the stories that for one reason or another are forgotten over time. I can’t wait to see the public reaction to these stories and also to work with local schoolchildren to highlight various elements of Aberdeen’s proud history. — Carrie Reichardt
A Revolution of the Ordinary
The theme for this year’s Nuart Aberdeen revolves around the concept “A Revolution of the Ordinary”: a look at the parallel world of non-institutional art and culture; an attempt to normalise and reclaim art as an everyday practice and experience.
Street Art’s call is to reclaim and broaden the terms ‘Art’ and ‘Artist’, and to remove the shame that those not privileged with an arts education often feel when employing these terms. Nuart Aberdeen takes a proactive stance in the democratization of art, not only through access and engagement but in the production of public art itself. It aims to act as a catalyst for individual and community development, agency and positive change.
Martyn Reed, Director and Curator of Nuart says:“The words ‘Art’ and ‘Artist‘ come with a set of predetermined art historical cultural biases; dilemmas; fears; and stereotypes that are too often determined and sustained by the traditional art establishment, promoting art and artists as ‘extraordinary’ and somehow closer to God the creator when in fact most artists are just like you and me: working class people with working class concerns who get up at 8am and work until 5pm, and like a drink or two on a weekend. Yet this is not to say that the work they produce isn’t sometimes exceptional or seemingly ‘extraordinary’. A broadening and more inclusive definition of the terms ‘Art’ and ‘Artist’ breaks down the elitism in visual art culture by challenging the notion that only a select few people with special talents and understanding can participate in its production and only the moneyed and cultural elite should own and define it. Street Art’s very existence, not to mention its popularity, is a reflection that we need to explore and promote alternatives to the prevailing status quo. Something Nuart has been dedicated to realising since its inception in 2001.”
Classically trained as a painter and with a degree in fine art, Lithuanian-born Ernest Zacharevic has built a strong reputation in street and fine-art circles with the emotional impact and interdisciplinary nature of his work. Recently, Zacahrevic has channelled his creative efforts into environmental and humanitarian causes with his Splash and Burn project, which aims to raise awareness about the rampant deforestation and destruction of habitat resulting from palm oil plantations in Sumatra, Indonesia. His ‘SOS’ land art installation, carved into half a kilometer of palm oil forest, was the subject of widespread media coverage in February 2018. (See our coverage here).
The Glöbel Brothers, otherwise known as Ciaran Glöbel and Conzo Throb, are a Glasgow-based duo whose public artworks revive the long and venerable tradition of sign painting. Their participation in the festival personifies this year’s theme, ‘A Revolution of the Ordinary’ (see text overleaf), and the role of street art in normalizing and reclaiming art as an everyday practice and experience. Exploring a more contemporary approach to this antiquated craft since 2013, Ciaran Glöbel is an artist and graphic designer who uses traditional signwriting tools and techniques to produce striking, hand-painted artworks. As well as painting their largest mural to date at Nuart Aberdeen, Ciaran and Conzo will also be hosting a signpainting workshop with local art and design students on Saturday 14th April.
Conzo and I are excited to bring some colour and tongue-in-cheek humour to the Granite City. Nuart Aberdeen is a great addition to the European street-art scene and we are delighted to have been invited along to represent the native end of the artists roster. — Glöbel Bros.
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