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Nuart Aberdeen organisers reveal ‘world-class’ line-up for 2023 return

In total, 13 globally-acclaimed street artists will be transforming walls and buildings across the Granite City this June under the theme of "rewilding".

Contemporary duo SNIK will return to Aberdeen's world-class Nuart festival this year
Contemporary duo SNIK will return to Aberdeen's world-class Nuart festival this year

The full line-up of street artists descending on Aberdeen this summer for the highly-anticipated return of Nuart has been revealed.

In total, 13 globally-acclaimed street artists will be transforming walls and buildings across the Granite City this June under the theme of “rewilding”.

This includes Brazilian street artist Thiago Mazza and Swoon from the USA.

Contemporary UK duo SNIK, known for creating murals across the city including on the market building before it was torn down, will return to the festival for a second time.

SNIK said they are “incredibly excited” to return to Aberdeen.

The pair said: “Nature will forever grow, survive, and eventually decay. We have grown with Nuart, painting murals in Stavanger and previous years in Aberdeen.

Nik Ellis and Laura Perrett from SNIK working on the Virginia Street mural.

“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 artists will create huge murals as well as smaller, more intimate, installations throughout the festival, running from June 8 to 11.

Strengthening connections through art

Organisers of the award-winning event, brought to the city by Aberdeen Inspired and Aberdeen City Council, say artists will strengthen the connection of people and communities to the city through their art.

Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said since the festival’s launch in 2017, it has grown in significance – with more than 50 stunning works across the city.

He said: “What we have unveiled today is a world-class line-up of street artists for our world-class festival.

“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.”

Caledonia Curry, whose world-renowned work appears under the name of Swoon, will be swapping the streets of Brooklyn for Aberdeen to create a rare piece for the festival.

Swoon’s immersive installations have appeared across the world and she has worked on community-based social justice projects for over two decades. Image: Aberdeen Inspired.

She is known as the first woman to gain large-scale recognition in the male-dominated world of street art.

Glastonbury artwork comes to Aberdeen

The UK-based artist behind all of Radiohead’s albums since 1994, Stanley Donwood, will be a real coup for the city festival. He is also behind the posters and merchandise for the Glastonbury festival.

His street work has deep-seated roots in the elements of the landscape as seen in his mural titled Nether on Walcot Street in Bath.

An example of Stanley Donwood’s street art from Bath. Image: Aberdeen Inspired

Iranian-born London-based printmaker and visual artist Aida Wilde will return to the festival this year after first appearing in 2021. Her work has featured on city streets around the world where she produces responsive commentary works on gentrification, education, and equality.

Tamara Alves weaves a narrative that celebrates in a raw, poetic way the primaeval vitality of strong sensations, of an animal becoming – of brute passion, as opposed to rational deliberation. Image: Aberdeen Inspired.

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.

Artists use urban environment to share their vision

UK-born Eloise Gillow and Jamie Reid are also joining the line-up of artists.

Currently based in Barcelona, Eloise creates imagery that invites the viewer to reflect on where and how they find vitality, moments of slowing down and reaching into a deeper undercurrent of connection to themselves, each other, and the natural world.

Reid is best known for designing album covers for British punk rock band The Sex Pistols. Image: Aberdeen Inspired.

Jamie Reid co-founded the radical political magazine, Suburban Press, and will bring his unique style of cut-up graphics and slogans to Aberdeen.

French street artist duo Murmure will showcase their signature style to Aberdeen. Made up of Paul Ressencourt and Simon Roché, Murmure explore themes in a fun and poetic way to share their vision of the world, interacting with the urban environment.

Nespoon works on the border of urban art with ceramics, sculpture and painting, using lace as their signature style. To them, lace harbours harmony, balance and a sense of natural order, something that Nespoon thinks everyone is instinctively searching for.

Completing the line-up is KMG, a native Aberdonian and Scottish-based artist who explores and confronts themes from the mundane to the precarious through the use of characters.

Most of Murmure’s work starts with a graphite pencil drawing to obtain a profound depth in shading and a realistic rendering. Image: Aberdeen Inspired.

Continuing despite ‘challenges’ faced by high street

Nuart’s curator and creator Martyn Reed said: “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.”

Crowds turned out for the official opening of Nuart 2022. Image: Wullie Marr / DC Thomson.

Councillor Martin Greig, cultural spokesman is looking forward to seeing colourful and vibrant designs pop up across the city again.

He 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.”

The festival includes exhibitions, workshops, walking tours and an Urban Art Conference, giving locals a chance to meet the artists behind the work.

Which walls the artists will be working on will also be announced in the coming weeks.

For more information visit Aberdeen Inspired.