VIDEO: Hunting for ‘Nuart’ in Aberdeen’s city centre

Scores of people spent the weekend hunting for stunning art works which have appeared on buildings and walls across Aberdeen city centre.

As part of the city’s first street art festival, the granite surroundings have been transformed into a vibrant kaleidoscope of colours by artists from across the globe.

Nuart Aberdeen was brought to the north-east from the twinned city of Stavanger, Norway, where it has been held for more than 15 years.

Equipped with cans of spray paint and custom made stencils, internationally-acclaimed artists as well as local contributors have transformed city centre streets with imaginative artworks and striking designs.

Mounting cherry pickers and more to scale their concrete canvases, the artists breathed life into long-forgotten walls and buildings hiding around the city over the course of just a handful of days.

One of the designers was Jasmin Siddiqui, part of the German artistic duo Herakut.

She helped to create the centrepiece of the festival at the Green – a breathtaking mural scrawled across the outside of the Aberdeen Indoor Market.

With a young girl reaching out her hand, a lighthouse and unicorns, the artist said her piece reflects the spirit of NuArt.

She said: “We are privileged people in Germany and Scotland as our economies are doing okay compared to many others, so we should reach out to others or lend a hand.

“Even though Aberdeen considers itself as a little city I think there’s so much potential and strength for them to be proud of.

“The festival draws attention to what’s happening artistically in the city anyway.”

Aberdeen Inspired and the city council worked to bring the festival to the city, and hope the works will breathe new life into some of its more neglected areas.

Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said the festival will have a lasting impact on the Granite City.

He said: “As an organisation, we’re trying to bring more people to the city centre to spend a bit of time here and find things for them to do.

“This is a transformational project for the city. There’s a legacy built in here. It’s not just that we’ve brought in a number of globally acclaimed street artists.

“It brightens it up. I would defy anybody to walk down to the east Green, on to the Shiprow and not be taken aback by the quality of the offering on show.”

Alice Pasquini, an Italian artist with a degree in fine art, has painted a boy and girl looking out over the sea on Shiprow, reflecting Aberdeen’s maritime heritage.

She said: “All my art talks about people, people’s feelings and relationships. That message doesn’t change in any part of the world.

“I wanted to paint something fitting, black and white and grey and then I thought a splash of colour would be nice.

“I want people who are walking from home to work and then suddenly they see something different.”

As well as the works, there were also walking tours, talks, presentations, art workshops and the UK cinema premier of Saving Banksy at Belmont Filmhouse.

James Finucane, festival organiser, added: “A lot of work has gone in to making this possible, the public response has been phenomenal.

“The Aberdeen Market wall is a real hotspot at the moment, there’s a lot of people passing through there and you can see a portion of the wall from Union Street so it’s nice to see people diverting off Union Street to explore.

“The main reason for NuArt is to bring art in to people’s everyday lives, and this opens the door for more people to engage with art.”

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