We are pleased to share the images of a new public art initiative for Stavanger called The Aftenblad Wall. Nuart Festival‘s inaugural artist, Sandra Chevrier, unveiled her largest artwork to date last week to kick off Nuart Festival’s 15th Anniversary celebrations.
Created in partnership with Stavanger Aftenblad newspaper, The Aftenblad Wall is a newly launched public art initiative that will see invited artists create work on a large-scale billboard in the heart of Stavanger.
A Platform For Public Art, The Aftenblad Wall will provide selected Norwegian and international contemporary artists the opportunity to adopt the scale and visibility of advertising to display their work in the public domain. The Aftenblad Wall’s inaugural artist is the Canadian painter Sandra Chevrier, who will be creating her largest work to date.
In a world where city-dwellers are exposed to 3000 – 4000 advertisements per day, subverting advertisements (or ‘subvertising’) has become a useful tool for challenging the number of commercial messages in our urban environment. The Aftenblad Wall is unique however in that it is a permanent site for public art rather than a temporary billboard intervention.
Nuart will extend invitations to four artists per year, whose work will stand for three months before being pasted over in the same way as commercial billboards. Selected artists will be invited from a pool whose practice is predominantly studio-based as apposed to those already working in the streets. The purpose is to provide the opportunity and encouragement for artists to employ the strategies used by street artists in bypassing the traditional routes into the art world by presenting their work directly to people in the public domain.
The inaugural Aftenblad Wall with Sandra Chevrier was unveiled on Thursday 3 September in the Storhaug area of Stavanger and marked the beginning of Nuart Festival’s 15th Anniversary.
Sandra Chevrier creates powerful and metaphorically androgynous art using paint and collage techniques. The resulting mixed-media illustrations are strikingly detailed and charged with commentary on modern day gender politics.
Super Hero Cages, a series in which Chevrier’s female subjects are encased in masks of comic book imagery, brought her widespread critical acclaim. These surreal portraits symbolise the daily struggles that women face in meeting societal expectations of beauty and femininity. By resolving the unrealistic expectations of what a woman should or shouldn’t be by enclosing them in a protective shell of superhero imagery, Chevrier alludes to the ‘superhuman’ effort required by women in negotiating the aesthetic demands placed upon them by modern day society.
Sandra Chevrier has exhibited in Canada, USA, Europe and Asia, and her work resides in collections in Canada, USA, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. She currently lives and works in Montreal, Quebec.
Nuart Festival Founder and Director, Martyn Reed says: Gradually, more and more ‘outsider’ and self-taught artists are finding their way into museum shows, but what can ‘fine’ artists learn from street artists and the strategies employed by them to reach wider audiences?
Working directly on the streets is liberating and allows artists to circumnavigate the traditional routes into and through the art world. At the same time, through adopting the medium of advertisers – in this case a large scale billboard – artists are addressing the question of who has the power to create messages and meaning in our public spaces.
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