Nuart 2023: Impressive line-up of of ‘world class’ artists to come to Aberdeen
A grand line-up of acclaimed world artists will be heading to Aberdeen this summer as the Nuart festival returns.
The line-up includes the internationally acclaimed Thiago Mazza from Brazil, American artist Swoon and the UK-based artist Stanley Donwood and artist duo SNIK, who will all descend on the Granite City this June to create murals and art on the city’s walls.
The 2023 edition of Nuart will run from Thursday, June 8 until Sunday, June 11 and will see work centred around a theme of ‘rewilding.’
In total, 13 globally renowned street artists hailing from Brazil, the USA, Europe, the UK and Iran will come together to create street art using the walls of Aberdeen city centre as their canvases.
They include Caledonia Curry, whose world-renowned work appears under the name Swoon. She was one of the first women to gain large-scale recognition in the male-dominated world of street art.
Stanley Donwood is known for his work on the Radiohead albums, while London-based printmaker/visual artist and educator Aida Wilde,who last created a piece for Nuart Aberdeen in 2021, is set to return.
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 and the natural landscape. Escif’s work mainly focuses on the resignification of the city.
And Manolo is known for his murals throughout Europe and in locations as far-flung as South Africa, India, and the United States.
UK-born Eloise Gillow and Jamie Reid will also be showcasing work, as will French street artist duo Murmure, made up of Paul Ressencourt and Simon Roché.
Lace artist Nespoon will also attend, while KMG, a native Aberdonian and Scottish-based artist, is looking to use Aberdeen to explore and confront themes from the mundane to the precarious.
Completing the line-up will be UK duo SNIK, who first showcased their work in Aberdeen in 2021 when they created a piece entitled ‘We Begin’ on the now-demolished Aberdeen Market building.
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.”
“Nature will forever grow, survive, and eventually decay. We have grown with Nuart, painting murals in Stavanger and previous years in Aberdeen. Some of our murals with Nuart are surviving like ‘Hold Fast Hope’ and ‘Gone Believer’, while ‘We Begin’ took its own path and decayed with the destruction of the building.
“We look forward to adding another creation to the city, and as always meet the locals that will now have it as part of their daily pathways.”
The Nuart festival, which was first launched in 2017, has resulted in more than 50 stunning works spread across the city centre. It has been brought to the north-east by partnership from Aberdeen Inspired and Aberdeen City Council.
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 ‘Grafitti 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.”
Councillor Martin Greig, cultural spokesperson said: “It’s great to welcome the Nuart Aberdeen festival back to Aberdeen again. The colourful designs add vibrancy to our streets and give much pleasure to local people.
“The images contribute so much to the cultural life of the city and is a great way to celebrate our wonderful city. It is not surprising that artists and visitors look forward to coming here from across the globe to experience the fun and adventure of Nuart Aberdeen.”
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The festival includes fringe events and exhibitions, workshops, walking tours and an Urban Art Conference which is attracting a host of international media agencies to the city, resulting in global media coverage.
Dr Susan Hansen, who leads the Urban Art conference programme, commented: “We are delighted to be holding Nuart Aberdeen’s world-renowned Urban Art Conference once more in Cowdray Hall at Aberdeen Art Gallery from June 8-10.
“The conference is free and open to the public and will offer Aberdonians the unique opportunity to meet the artists behind the freshly created work on the walls of the Granite City, along with presentations from internationally renowned writers, curators, and professors, including bestselling writer and curator Stephen Ellcock, who the Tate Modern recently described as an ‘tinerant image-scavenging art-fugitive’.