The 17th edition of world renowned NuArt Festival is here. Opening the 31 August and running until 3 September; NUART is back offering exhibition from 3 September up until 15 October.
12 artists from 10 countries spanning 4 continents will descend upon Stavanger, Norway this August for the 17th edition of the world’s leading street art festival.
Site-specific murals, installations, interventions, and temporary exhibitions will be supplemented by Nuart Plus – the festival’s satellite program of academic and industry debates, artist presentations, film screenings, workshops, guided tours and more – from Thursday 31 August to Sunday 3 September.
Tou Scene Centre for Contemporary Arts – a former 19th century brewery-cum-multidisciplinary arts venue – will host the festival’s indoor exhibition, entitled ‘Rise Up!’, from Sunday 3 September to Sunday 15 October.
This year’s festival is dedicated to exploring ‘power’: questioning who has it, who doesn’t and how sanctioned and unsanctioned street and public art can challenge prevailing mechanisms of control.
It will attempt to tackle those grand historical narratives that until recently the arts have been in retreat from: issues of politics, space, justice, place, beauty, history and not least ‘capitalism’, a word we hear less and less of as it is replaced with the ideology of ‘culture’. Paradoxically, Nuart Festival is recognition that culture is not always a medium of power, but can also be a mode of resistance to it.
Leading practitioners from across the spectrum of street art, activism and artivism will come together for a community driven and responsive ‘Street Art’ celebration that does not simply take art out of the context of the museum but emphasizes its potency as a catalyst for civic agency and direct participation in shaping the city we want to live in.
Nuart Festival Founder and Director, Martyn Reed says: “The real power of “street art” is being played out daily on walls, buildings, ad shelters and city squares the world over. This year’s Nuart Festival will bring together a diverse combination of of artists, activists and academics to reflect upon the fluidity of this transgressive new movement.
We believe that when you want to challenge the powerful, you must change the story. It’s this DIY narrative embedded within street art practice that forms the bonding agent for stronger social cohesion between citizens from a multiplicity of cultures, as our lead artist Bahia Shehab will attest. It is this narrative that is acting as the catalytic agent towards street art becoming a vehicle capable of generating changes in politics as well as urban consciousness.
Nuart’s programs are designed specifically to explore and silently challenge the mechanisms of power and politics in public space. Nuart’s annual academic symposium, Nuart Plus, acts as a platform for a resurgency in utopic thinking around both city development and public art practice, and whilst recognizing that street art is often co-opted and discredited by capital it also recognises that even the most amateur work is indispensable in stimulating debate and change in a Modern society resistant to seeing art, once more, as part of our everyday life.”
Nuart Festival 2017 artists:
Ampparito (ES), Bahia Shehab (EG), Carrie Reichardt (UK), flyingleaps presents Derek Mawudoku (UK), Ian Strange (AU), John Fekner (US), Know Hope (IS), ±maismenos± (PT), Igor Ponosov (RU), Ricky Lee Gordon (ZA), Slava Ptrk (RU), Vermibus (DE)
A full program of events and schedule will be announced in the coming weeks. In the meantime, please visit www.nuartfestival.no for more information on this year’s artists.
Born 1991 in Madrid, Ampparito is a young Spanish artist who’s conceptual murals subvert objects, meanings and realities to generate new experiences or situations. A graduate in Fine Arts from the Universidad Compluetense, Madrid (2014), Ampparito has built a solid reputation in recent years for a number of thought-provoking murals that provide metaphors and allegories for the human condition and mechanism of societal behaviour. His series entitled ‘I Accept The Terms & Conditions’ is a reflection on ideas pertaining to ‘Big Data’ and the consequences of accepting the terms and conditions intrinsically linked to every app and piece of software which accompany our lives.
Ampparito has painted in Italy (Milan, Carrara and Palermo, 2016), France (Biennial Design, Saint Etienne, 2017; Saint Chamond Le Mur Project, 2017), India (KA Project, 2016), Spain (Arte Para Todxs, curated by Madrid Street Art Project, 2016; Festival Polinizados, Polotecnic University of Valencia, 2017) and the UK (Upfest, 2016).
Bahia Shehab (EG)
Lead artist Bahia Shehab’s political street art was instrumental in the Egyptian uprising that saw widespread protests against poverty, unemployment, government corruption and the rule of president Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
Shehab is an artist, designer and art historian. She is Associate Professor of Design and Founder of the Graphic Design program at The American University in Cairo where she has developed a full design curriculum mainly focused on visual culture of the Arab world. Her artwork has been on display in exhibitions, galleries and streets in Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Morocco, Turkey, UAE and the US.
She has received numerous international recognitions and awards including the TED fellowship in 2012, the TED Senior fellowship in 2016 and the UNESCO-Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture in 2017. Her book “A Thousand Times NO: The Visual History of Lam-Alif” was published in 2010.
The documentary Nefertiti’s Daughters, which focuses on Shehab’s street artwork during the uprising, will receive a Scandinvavian Premiere at this year’s Nuart Festival. A story of women, art and revolution, the film documents the critical role that revolutionary street art played – and is continuing to play – in the political uprising of Egypt.
Carrie Reichardt (UK)
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 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. She remains a proactive supporter.
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.
She 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.
Her work has been featured in The Observer, The Guardian, The Evening Standard, Tile and Stone and in several books including: 1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse, Garth Johnson; Mural Art No. 2, Kirikos Iosifidis, and The Idler 42 – Smash the System, Tom Hodgkinson.
Born in London in 1959 and graduated from Goldsmiths College of Art in 1987 with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art, Derek Mawudoku has worked assiduously to produce an incredibly powerful and well-wrought body of work.
Since 1985 he has shown at a number of venues including the Morley Gallery, London; Stephen Lawrence Gallery, University of Greenwich, London; Kettles Yard, Cambridge; Edition -100 Years of British Printmaking, SW1 Gallery, London; The London Original Print Fair at the Royal Academy of Arts; the New York Print Fair at the Park Avenue Armory; Adjustments & Errors, a group exhibition held at the Bag Factory in Johannesburg, South Africa, following his residency at their Studios in 2006.
While his work is held in many private and eminent public collections – including The Arts Council England, The British Council, The British Museum – Mawudoku’s art is still relatively under-recognised. The respected artist, curator and academic Jon Thompson wrote about the artists’ work: ‘As representations they are wonderfully lucid and yet carry with them the vivid sense of life experienced at the very edge of social breakdown. Even so, Mawudoku is not weighed down by the burden of his own critique. He is no purveyor of gloom. A passionate attachment to the human values helps him to sustain an unflagging optimism.’
Ian Strange (AU)
Ian Strange (previously known as Kid Zoom) is a multidisciplinary artist whose work explores architecture, space and the home, alongside broader themes of disenfranchisement within the urban environment. His practice includes large-scale multifaceted projects resulting in; photography, sculpture, installation, site-specific interventions, film works, documentary works and exhibitions. His studio practice includes painting and drawing as well as on-going research and archiving projects.
Strange has been featured in publications including; OSMOS Magazine, Art World, Dazed and Confused, The Atlantic, Imagine Architecture, ArtAlmanac, Artlink, Art Market, Artist Profile, Vault Magazine, Oyster Magazine and The Financial Review. In 2017 ABCTV released ‘Home : The Art of Ian Strange’ a commissioned series looking at his career and work to date.
His work is held in private and public collections including: the National Gallery of Victoria; Art Gallery of South Australia; Art Gallery of Western Australia, and the Canterbury Museum.
He currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
Igor Ponosov (RU)
Born in Nizhnevartovsk in Siberian Russia in 1980, Igor Ponosov is an artist, activist and author of several projects and publications relating to urban art.
He began his artistic career in 1999 as a graffiti artist in Kiev and between 2005 and 2009 published three books on street art in Russia and the ex-USSR. From 2011 to 2013 he curated the project ‘The Wall’ at the Winzavod Centre for Contemporary Art in Moscow. In 2011 he founded the ‘Partizaning.org’ website as a platform for exchange among activists, artists and urbanists, and from 2013 to 2016 he curated ‘Delai Sam’ festival, which focused on grassroots indicatives and activism in Russia. He is also the author of the book ‘Art and the City’ (2016).
He has undertaken residencies including the Global Art Lab public art residency in New York as part of the 2014 Arts Leadership Fellows as well as at the National Centre for Contemporary Arts, Moscow, in 2016.
Ponosov currently lives in Moscow, where he works as an activist, artist and independent curator of multi-disciplinary projects, focusing on the social environment of the city and its transformation through the arts.
John Fekner (US)
John Fekner (b. 1950) is best-known for his series of environmentally conceptual works consisting of words, symbols, and dates spraypainted throughout the five boroughs of New York in the 1970’s. These “Warning Signs” pointed out hazards and dangerous conditions that overtook New York City and its environment during this decade. The project expanded in 1977 where Fekner created “Word-Signs.” Through hand-cut cardboard stencils and spray paint he began a crusade that was tirelessly concerned with environmental and social issues.
Starting in the industrial streets of Queens and the East River bridges and continuing to the South Bronx in 1980 his “messages” brought awareness to areas that were in desperate need of attention, whether through demolition or repairs. His “labeling” of these structures brought emphasis to the problems, where the objective was a shout to the authorities, agencies, and local communities to, above all, take action.
His work is held in numerous museum collections across the US and Europe including the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA; Museum of Modern Art, NYC; Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC; and Malmo Museum, Sweden. His work has also received recognition from the New York Foundation for the Arts and New York State Council on the Arts.
Know Hope (IL)
Over the past decade, Addam Yekutieli (aka Know Hope) has developed a visual iconography and language used to mirror real-life situations and observations, and document the notion of a collective human struggle.
By creating parallels between political situations and emotional conditions, his work represents an attempt to perceive the political process and dialogue as an emotional mechanism, therefore making it a process that can be understood and participated in intuitively and not solely intellectually. These processes take place both indoors and outdoors, in the form of site-specific installations, murals and assemblages, combining ready- made materials, mixed media pieces, photographs and text.
By placing these works in public spaces, Know Hope aims to make the separation between the emotional and political non-existent, and allow the viewers to see themselves in the larger context of their surroundings simply by recognizing each other.
Yekutieli has exhibited internationally. He currently lives and works in Tel Aviv.
±MaisMenos ± (PT)
±MaisMenos± is an intervention art project by Portuguese visual artist and graphic designer Miguel Januário (b. 1981) that began in the scope of an academic thesis in 2005, and later gained a life of its own. It offers a critical reflection on the model of political, social and economic organisation inherent to contemporary urban societies.
Conducting a clinical dissection of reality that plays with the system of dualities intrinsic to the Western ideological edifice, the project’s programmatic expression is conceptually reduced to an equation of simplicity and excluding opposites: more/less, positive/negative, black/white.
Under the ±MaisMenos± banner, Januário has been producing thought-provoking, cutting-edge work both indoors and outdoors in a variety of media – from video to sculptural installations to painting and performance.
Besides numerous illegal public art interventions in several countries, the project has also been showcased in solo and group exhibitions in various institutional contexts and at leading art festivals and events around the world including Nuart Festival in Stavanger in 2014.
±MaisMenos± has also been the subject of two TED talks, at TEDxLuanda (Luanda, 2014) and TEDxPorto (Porto, 2015). The project is also the focus of Januário’s ongoing PhD research at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Porto.
Ricky Lee Gordon (ZA)
Ricky Lee Gordon is best-known for his large-scale murals inspired by his experience in mediation and Buddhist Dharma (law of nature). His paintings explore the nature of non-duality and interconnectedness, with a focus on bringing to light relevant social issues.
Born in Johannesburg South Africa in 1984, Ricky Lee Gordon only started painting full-time in 2014. Before this his main focus was curatorial and creative activism; co-founding /A WORD OF ART gallery, project space and artist residency in addition to the Colour Ikamva school rejuvenation project, which aimed to re-imagine education through creativity and self-empowerment. In 2016, he moved to Los Angeles to study classical painting, which is where he now resides.
He has received the British Council Young Creative Entrepreneur Award and been shortlisted for the IAPA International Award for Excellence in Public Art. His achievements in public art and activism have been covered by The Guardian (‘200 young people in South Africa who make a difference’) and CNN among others.
Slava Ptrk (RU)
Moscow-based artist Slava Ptrk focuses on social & political statements, interactive projects and site-specific artworks using stencils, posters, muralism, installations and urban interventions to express his ideas.
Slava Ptrk co-founded the street art gallery Sweater in Yekaterinburg, Russia after graduating from Shadrinsk School of Arts in Yekaterinburg with a Bachelor in Journalism (Majors in Print Media & Web- Journalism). He has curated Stenograffia, an international graffiti festival held annually in Yekaterinburg, as well as edited Stenograffia’s online publication about graffiti and street art. He is also a regular contributor to leading Russian online publications covering street art, music and urban living. He currently gives lectures on graffiti and street art and is the author of a course on creative thinking and independent urban interventions.
Recent notable achievements include participating in the Creative Peacebuilding project in Kiev, Ukraine (2016); receiving the ‘Artist of the Year’ Award from The Assembly Of NGOs for his work ‘Barbed Wire’ in Belarus in 2016, and being awarded the Artmossphere Community’s first grant for a public art project in 2015.
Berlin-based artist Vermibus regularly collects advertising posters from the streets, using them in his studio as the base material for his work. Vermibus transforms the advertisements using solvents to brush away the faces and flesh of the models in the posters as well as brand logos. Once the transformation is complete, he then reintroduces the adverts back into their original context, hijacking the publicity, and its purpose.
By using advertising space and subverting how human figures are represented in that space,
Vermibus’ interventions become part of a broader conversation of social significance by questioning who has the power and authority to communicate messages and create meaning in our shared spaces.
By manipulating the image through removing the flesh of his subjects, Vermibus dehumanizes figures that were already depersonalized. He is, in fact, trying to find the aura of the individual – the personality that was lost – however. Once banal posters and advertisements are not insidiously lurking in the background anymore; they stand out in the public space, giving us the opportunity to call their presence into question.
Since beginning this work across Europe with hundreds of posters a handful of years ago, Vermibus has developed a distinctly ghoulish aesthetic, exhibited in the streets and at galleries and art fairs the world over.