It has been already a month since the completion of Nuart Aberdeen second edition in Scotland. Nuart returned to sunny Aberdeen where the four-day festival saw international, national and local artists reveal their latest artworks around the city centre. Some of the spots include the Green, Union Row, Holburn Junction, Jopps Lane and Willowbank. The festival was delivered by business organisation Aberdeen Inspired in partnership with Nuart Festival and Aberdeen City Council.
The theme for this year’s Nuart Aberdeen revolved 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. 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.
In parallel to the engaging program walls around Aberdeen city center have been transformed for the Nuart Aberdeen Festival (See the artist progress here). This year’s line up included 13 artists all painting on the street and paying tribute to the Granite city history. The line up includes Bordalo II, Bortusk Leer, Carrie Reichardt, Dr. D, Elki, Ernest Zacharevic, Glöbel Bros., Hyuro, Milu Correch, Nimi & RH74, Phlegm, and Snik.
This year’s line up put women in the spotlight having invited talented artists painting on the streets and paying tribute to the Granite city history. The line up included Carrie Reichardt, Hyuro, Milu Correch, RH74, and Snik (check it out here).
Today we share the recap video realised by FifthWall TV along with a closer look at the artists interventions with some photos of the finished murals.
Based in Penang, Malaysia, Ernest Zacharevic he has built a strong reputation in street and fine-art circles with the emotional impact and interdisciplinary nature of his work. Moving freely between oil painting, installation, sculpture, illustration and stencils, Zacharevic regularly combines real objects and painted figures to produce interesting and exciting compositions.
Focusing mostly on portraits and inspired by the ambience and environment around the site he paints, Zacharevic takes a playful approach to painting. At the heart of his work lies the joy and frivolity of children, whom he portrays in playful scenes that border on the nostalgic.
Recently, Zacahrevic has channelled his efforts into environmental and humanitarian causes with his Splash and Burn project, which aims to raise awareness about widespread deforestation and destruction in Indonesia resulting from the palm oil industry.
The self-proclaimed pioneer of ‘art-comedy’, Bortusk Leer’s philosophy is epitomised by his slogan: Cheer Up You Bastards. Since bursting onto the art scene in 2007 Bortusk Leer’s sole purpose has been to put a smile on people’s faces through creating brief encounters that distract us from the seriousness of life.
Based in Amsterdam but originally from the UK, Bortusk Leer’s brightly coloured paintings and paste-ups have appeared on streets around the world. His playful neon monsters occupy walls, windows, doors and electricity boxes wherever he can find them – waiting patiently to surprise the next unsuspecting member of the public.
Milu Correch is an Argentinean artist known for her large-scale murals and has established herself as one of South America’s leading figurative street artists.
After being inspired by seeing the work of renowned Argentinian muralists Lean Frizzera and Emy Mariani she attended a workshop by the pair which taught her to “think in m2” and upscale the images in her notebooks to the size of buildings, something she first started doing in 2011.
Taking inspiration from literature, movies and comics Correch’s paintings tend to dissect aesthetic and moral certainties with acute irony. Her “kids on cars” series contained ‘plotlines’ ranging from Classical mythology to Romantic symbolism that embrace childhood impulses and redeem us from the absurdity of adulthood.
Initially inspired by the Graffiti scene, Snik is a street art duo that has been working with stencil and spray paint for over ten years.
Staying true to their form, Snik hand cuts up to nine layers of stencil at a time, working with different mediums, techniques, paints and varnishes. Their ethereal compositions combine realism and fantasy with the theatrical play of light and shadow to depict characters suspended in time.
These frozen scenes tell stories of the everyday and the beauty that is found there, but it is Snik’s attention to detail and their bold aesthetic that has most come to define their signature style.
Hyuro is an Argentinian-born street and urban artist best known for painterly compositions that combine vernacular depictions of femininity with socio-political undertones.
Originally working on canvas, Hyuro took to the streets after striking up a friendship with Spanish street artist Escif. She has since carved out a reputation for addressing prevalent social and political issues in her work, with the characters she depicts often subordinated by patriarchal and capitalistic systems of power.
By submitting reflections on both individual and collective identities, and questioning the conditions of freedom as the fundamental and inalienable rights of the person, Hyuro has become one of the most influential female artists working in public space today.
Born in Lisbon, Bordalo II’s early interactions with art oscillated between his grandfather’s watercolour paintings of classic Lisbon landscapes and seeing illegal graffiti on the city’s streets.
Big Trash Animals, his series of large-scale sculptures, depicts animals made out of discarded and recycled materials. Through portraying animals made from the materials that are responsible for the destruction of their habitats, Bordalo II draws attention to the problem of waste and pollution, and its effect on the planet.
His works are built with end-of-life materials: the majority found in wastelands, abandoned factories and industrial estates. Damaged car bumpers, used tires, garbage cans and household appliances are just some of the objects that can be identified within his vibrant sculptures; even more so in his latest series of ‘half and half’ sculptures which bring his specific choice of materials, and the message behind his work, to the fore.
Carrie Reichardt is a self-titled ‘craftivist’. Her work blurs the boundaries between craft and activism, using the techniques of muralism, mosaic and screen-printing to create intricate, highly-politicised works of art.
Reichardt has been involved in community and public art projects for over 15 years, designing and consulting on large-scale mosaic murals in various local communities. She has produced a community mosaic in Miravalle, one of the most deprived districts on the fringes of Mexico City as well as designed and installed ‘The Art of Recycling’ at Harold Hill Library, Essex, and ‘The Revolution will be Ceramicsed’ in London Portobello. In 2018, Reichardt finally completed the transformation of her west London home into a giant mosaic mural – a process that took twenty years and tens of thousands of tiles to complete.
Reichardt trained at Kingston University and achieved a First Class degree in Fine Art from Leeds Metropolitan. She was Artist in Residence at Camberwell Art College in 2009, following this with a period as Artist in Residence at The Single Homeless Project, of which she remains a proactive supporter.
Reichardt is frequently called to speak on the use of craft and art as protest and has presented at National Museums Liverpool’s International Women’s Day lectures and the British Association of Modern Mosaic forum at the V&A, London. (Have a browse here for more).
During the early 2000’s, tags and stencils started appearing in Aberdeen city centre and down numerous back alleys: a policewoman, DJ and bag piper all painted in the same vein as Banksy’s early work. These pieces were created by stencil artist Elki, with the now infamous bag piper on Jopps Lane one of the longest standing pieces of street art in The Granite City.
Over the past 15 years Elki has developed a unique, photorealistic style using hand-cut stencils – no mean feat considering the number of layers required for each piece – operating out of his studio in Glasgow.
Having made the move to legal walls and commissions, he has developed his work to produce some of the best stencil pieces in Europe over the past few years. Although his style and execution may have changed since those early days in Aberdeen, Elki continues to produce work with reference to numerous subcultures associated with street art, graffiti, sneaker and DJ culture with the occasional nod to Scottish heritage with the odd bit of tartan here and there!
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.
Exploring a more contemporary approach to this antiquated craft since 2013, Ciaran is an artist and graphic designer who uses traditional signwriting tools and techniques to produce striking, hand-painted artworks. In his own words, “Tradition and technology don’t have to be mutually exclusive, so while there is a strong foundation of manual skill and draughtsmanship in signpainting today, the use of technology has revolutionised the way in which hand rendered lettering can be achieved.”
Conzo Throb has been creating artworks that span multiple creative disciplines for over a decade and is responsible for the more figurative and character-based elements in the duo’s outdoor artworks.
Sheffield-based artist Phlegm who first developed his illustrations in self-published comics. His surreal illustrations can often be found on walls in run-down and disused spaces – his preferred locations.
Phlegm’s storybook-like imagery is half childlike, half menacing; depicting built-up cityscapes with castles, turrets and winding stairways. At other times the city itself is the setting for his long limbed half-human, half-woodland creatures. In this dream world a viewer comes across impossible flying machines and complex networks of levers, pulleys and cogs, set beside telescopes, magnifying glasses and zephyrs.
Working solely in monochrome, his fine technique and intricate detail can be seen as a curiosity cabinet of the mind with each drawing forming part of a grand narrative that extends worldwide in countries including Norway, Canada, Switzerland, Sri Lanka, USA, Belgium, Poland, Italy, Slovakia, Spain and Australia.
Dr. D is a London-based artist and ‘subvertiser’. Using a cut and paste technique to ‘doctor’ everything from big brand billboards to political posters, Dr. D mimics the scale and visibility of advertising to raise awareness about who has the power and authority to communicate messages and create meaning in our urban environment.
The act of subverting advertisements (or ‘subvertising’) has long been utilised as a tool for social commentary and protest within the field of street art. Dr. D’s wry and insightful observations often appear in response to current affairs and social debate, providing a subversive take on mainstream news and media.
By incorporating the same aesthetic, logos and fonts of the original material, Dr. D’s interventions are embedded within the physical landscape and can be easy to miss at first glance; emphasizing the insidious nature of outdoor advertising and its co-option of in public space.
Bergen-based, South African born artist Nimi grew up in England and has been an integral part of the Norwegian street art scene for over two decades. A trained architect-turned-street artist, Nimi likes to experiment with a variety of techniques, mediums and creative processes in work that tends to blur the lines between political satire and Romanticism.
RH74 is a Stavanger-based artist and street art enthusiast whose work is a blend of fine and urban art. With a passion for figuration and portraiture she is mainly responsible for the fine details found in the duo’s impressive large-scale murals.