Everything you need to know about Aberdeen’s street-art festival

Organisers of Aberdeen’s street art festival Nuart Aberdeen have announced the full line-up for the 2022 event. 11 international artists will descend upon the city in early June. They’ll aim to create art that will invoke connections between people and the city.

The first Nuart festival was staged in 2001 in Stavanger, Norway. It was and still is under the direction and curation of its founding director Martyn Reed. His mission is to bring art to the masses.


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Nuart Aberdeen 2022 Reconnects

“RECONNECT” is the theme of Nuart Aberdeen 2022. Its a response to the disconnection and uncertainty that have characterized the past two years of social isolation and lockdown. Martyn hopes that Nuart Aberdeen 2022 will help to alleviate the stress that has become a part of our everyday lives.

He told us “We have connected with artists, academics and industry professionals from across the globe to explore and present the very best that this culture has to offer for Nuart Aberdeen.

“I think the theme of ‘Reconnect’, is pretty self-explanatory. We’re aware of the connections we’ve stretched to the limit or lost during two years of pandemic and enforced isolation. If art presented in a festival format is good for anything, then it’s making connections. Art to people, people to place, to the city, to each other, across borders, genders and race.

“At the very least, I’m hoping it inspires someone to pick up the phone and call their mum. I’d consider that a win.”

Nuart Aberdeen 2022 Tours

Nuart Aberdeen has also announced the return of their popular street-art tours. Due to the large number of work now on display throughout the city, they have now split these into two separate tours. The west end tours and the east end tours will begin in late May.

Over the two-hour long tours, you’ll hear about the artists behind the murals, and what inspired them. The expert tour guides will also share all the behind the scenes stories about how the works were created. Tickets can be bought on the day from the guides and also from the Eventbrite website.

Who are the artists?

So below is the full list of artists for Nuart Aberdeen 2022. We’ve included links to their websites and social media channels, so you can explore their work further. On top of that, we’ve added guides so you can find the work of each mural for yourself. If that’s not enough, there’s an interactive map that you can add to your phone while you are out hunting down this year’s spectacular selection of street art.

This Nuart Aberdeen 2022 mural is painted on a rounded grey wall. It depicts a man painted in black and white holding a hammer and chisel. He sits on a wall of multi-coloured graffiti, chipping away at it.
Martin Whatson | Photo by Chris Sansbury

Martin Whatson | NCP, Virginia Street

Included in the lineup of inspiring national and international street artists is Norwegian street artist Martin Whatson. You may remember him as the artist who created a mural on Queen Street as part of the first-ever street art festival in 2017.  His mural, featuring a golfer was hugely popular with the crowds. A few locals were also given the opportunity to create their own graffiti tags as part of his creation.

HOW TO FIND IT: You can find Martin Whatson’s spectacular return to the city right next to the exit of the NCP on Virginia Street. The multi-coloured graffiti and stencilling. It is absolutely unmissable, especially as it is right next to James Klinge’s massive mural.

A hotel and gym on the left and a multi-storey car park on the right. Between them is a ten-storey wall. On the wall is a Nuart Aberdeen 2022 mural of a woman with dark hair, a black top and dark blue jeans. She is holding her finger up to her mouth telling viewers to be quiet.
James Klinge | Photo by Chris Sansbury

James Klinge | Ibis Hotel, Virginia Street

Also in the Nuart Aberdeen 2022 artist lineup is Scottish stencil artist James Klinge. He was born in Glasgow, where he continues to live and work. His work is primarily figurative using intricate and detailed hand-cut stencils as the foundation of the process. Yet he describes the process of his paintings as controlled chaos. It is difficult to see that his paintings begin from stencils. His complimentary blend of intense detail with expressive strikes from his palette knife. He brings abstraction to his paintings by attacking the canvas.

HOW TO FIND IT: The Ibis Hotel is one of the city’s tallest blank walls. Perfectly visible to visitors arriving in the city by boat. It’s absolutely huge and unmissable.

A look down at what looks like a welcome mat. On closer inspection, you can see that the Nuart Aberdeen 2022 mat is made up of pictures of thousands of little people. You can see the photographer's red and white trainers at the bottom of the image.
Pejac | Photo by Chris Sansbury

Pejac | Union Street

The global appeal and influence of the festival is demonstrated by the inclusion of Spanish artist Pejac who will make a rare appearance as part of the event.  Pejac mainly paints with black to create silhouetted figures and shadows but sometimes uses splashes of colour to show them in a smart and poetic manner in both playful and serious scenes. His creations have enchanted audiences around the world and it’s a real coup to secure his place in the 2022 lineup.

HOW TO FIND IT: Nuart makes its Union Street debut. It’s a difficult one to spot…especially when the city centre is busy and bustling. Head to Citizens Advice and LOOK DOWN!

A huge yellow Nuart Aberdeen 2022 mural. It is bright and yellow with a picture of a masked person. You cannot see the face. The mask and headscarf are mostly white but have a Queen playing card design.
Nuno Viegas | Photo by Chris Sansbury

Nuno Viegas | Gerard Street

Portuguese artist Nuno Viegas was originally on the artist lineup for the cancelled 2020 edition but secretly visited the city as part of a ‘lockdown edition’.  His clean and minimal work draws on traditional graffiti for inspiration.  Nuno is looking forward to returning to the city and told us “We are finally going to make it happen! 2020 was marked by the Lockdown Edition after covid ruined our plans and stopped us all from travelling. It feels great now to join the Nuart Aberdeen family in person once again for the Aberdeen jam!”

HOW TO FIND IT: These buildings are already home to a Nuart Aberdeen Mural. The spectacular crystalline head mural was painted by Norwegian Henrik Uldalen. If you walk along Gerard Street from George Street you won’t miss it.

A Nuart Aberdeen 2022 mural on the side of a multi-storey car park. It depicts a person standing on a rock holding a huge white flag on a pole. The flag is covering their face.
Jofre Oliveras | Photo by Chris Sansbury

Jofre Oliveras | Frederick Street Car Park

Explorer, landscaper, and activist. Jofre Oliveras uses art as a communication tool with a social focus. The main location for his work is in public space. His community-based and self-sufficient lifestyle led him to become part of Konvent, a cultural and artistic community-organised residency space. He has produced works and organised events with an international trajectory in the muralism sector and as a realist painter.

HOW TO FIND IT: This is a very large mural that is best viewed from Princes Street. So if you approach from Park Street, you won’t miss it.

A Nuart Aberdeen 2022 mural on the side of a multi-storey car park. It depicts a family around a table. The mother and father are standing, but the mother is obscured. The father holds a white towel.
Mohamed L’Ghacham | Photo by Chris Sansbury

Mohamed L’Ghacham | Lime Street

Painter and muralist Mohamed L’Ghacham was born in Tangier (Morocco) and based in Mataró (Barcelona). Always interested in the Plastic Arts, he discovered the world of graffiti and years later he started to be attracted by Classical painters and the language they use. His work is mainly figurative with a realistic aspect and Impressionist touches. He creates scenes from everyday life happening around him.

HOW TO FIND IT: Lime Street is towards the Fittie end of Aberdeen Harbour. It’s a small street between Apollo House and a car park. If you are walking from town and have the harbour to your right, you’ll find this tucked away on the left.

This Nuart Aberdeen 2022 mural depicts a young girl wearing a kilt. She is standing on top of a chair in front of a blackboard. She has been writing lines on the board, saying "I will pay me taxes" in cursive writing.
Slim Safont | Photo by Chris Sansbury

Slim Safont | Union Row

Nil Safont was born in Berga (Barcelona) and graduated in Fine Arts from the University of Barcelona. He is a muralist and painter, mainly interested in urban art and interventions in public space. His works are large-format paintings that use the walls of the streets as canvases. He works on topics closely linked to the different daily lives he discovers in the social contexts where he works.

HOW TO FIND IT: This site is near an older Nuart Aberdeen mural by Lithuanian-born artist Ernest Zacharevic. If you walk past the huge toddler and the seagull with Union Plaza on your right, you will fund it on the back side of the same building.

This Nuart Aberdeen 2022 mural depicts a bathroom from above. You can see the sink, the door and the entrance to the shower.
Erin Holly | Photo by Chris Sansbury

Erin Holly | Union Grove

An artist who paints indoors on canvas and activates public spaces with her murals. She has also implemented and curated a DIY art venue called the Abacus and a street art project in Cardiff Wales called Empty Walls between 2013 and 2015. Erin seeks collaborations in and around the LGBTQ+ community and is an activist for trans rights. She lives and works in London, UK and studied at the City and Guilds School of Art, London.

HOW TO FIND IT: The side wall of Brodies on Union Grove is a huge blank canvas. Three storeys high and also easily visible from the road. It’s close to the junction with Holburn Street.

A massive mural on the side of an office building depicts the head and neck of a woman looking out a window, curtains partially drawn.
Elisa Capdevila | Photo by Chris Sansbury

Elisa Capdevila | Wapping Street

Barcelona based muralist Elisa Capdevila began her artistic career began in 2014 when she studied painting and drawing in a traditional school in Barcelona. She started painting murals during that time, first as a mere exercise where the canvas was replaced by a wall, later realising its broader possibilities and deciding to focus her personal work around these larger-scale projects.

This Nuart Aberdeen 2022 depicts three nude women in a close embrace.
Jacoba Niepoort | Photo by Chris Sansbury

JACOBA | Justice Mill Lane

Copenhagen-based muralist Jacoba Niepoort is a muralist who has been painting in the public space since 2009. Scale is a personal obsession, and the streets are often her playground because they are where everyday people move. JACOBA’s work is grounded in her belief that connectedness facilitates a better understanding of self and others, and is a powerful tool to address and change current social issues.

HOW TO FIND IT: Holburn House is currently partially empty, but there is a HUGE wall to the rear on Justice Mill Lane. You’ll find it across the road from the Bon Accord Baths and Park Inn hotel.

This Nuart Aberdeen 2022 work is a small black and white collage of a woman in a smart 1960s suit. There are smaller pieces of the work that show red and yellow fire.
Miss.Printed | Photo by Chris Sansbury

Miss.Printed | City Centre

Norway based Miss.Printed is sure to delight and surprise with her delicate miniature paper collages which she will place in the streets. She photographs her collages on location under adverse conditions. She loves to combine paper elements and their predators: water, fire, snow, wind and sky. In an urban environment, she leaves her papercuts behind for others to reflect upon.

HOW TO FIND THEM: Look hard and look down. These murals are all over the city centre, especially near the other Nuart Aberdeen 2022. They are likely to disappear over time though so catch them while you can!

Nuart Aberdeen 2022 Interactive Map

We’ve created this interactive map to help you find the amazing work from 2022. It has been a very special year, and the work will remain part of our cityscape for years to come.



Transforming the streetscape

Brought to the city by Aberdeen Inspired and Aberdeen City Council, the multi-award-winning Nuart Aberdeen has transformed the streetscape of the Granite City. Commenting on the return of the festival, Adrian Watson, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Inspired said “At its heart, Nuart Aberdeen 2022 is all about connecting people with the city through the art that is created by the talented street artists which the festival draws.

“Nuart Aberdeen has helped put the city on the map in terms of its cultural offering and it has changed the face of the city since it first began in 2017. Over the years we have played host to groundbreaking street artists and delivered projects that have involved participants from all walks of life. We are excited to see what people make of this year’s programme of events.

Aberdeen City Council is a key funding partner for the festival. Council Leader, Jenny Laing told us “The city is delighted to welcome back Nuart Aberdeen. I expect residents and the public at large will be excited by the announcement that the festival is back and the lineup of artists.”

Photo by Chris Sansbury

streetartaberdeen.org

If you loved the world-class murals on display at Nuart Aberdeen, you might like to explore Aberdeen’s very own street art and graffiti scene. Finding where to look can be challenging though, and that’s why Andy Gaskell set up Street Art Aberdeen.

It’s a guide to all the work on display in the city with a record of over a thousand pieces of work and growing. You can start with unofficial Nuart Aberdeen pieces, work by Aberdeen writers, and even work that has long gone. It’s a brilliant record.

Visit streetartaberdeen.org and begin exploring. Remember to check in regularly as new work is added every few days.


About POST

Kevin Mitchell and Chris Sansbury founded POST. This was from a desire to cut through the noise to share the great things that happen in Aberdeen. They focus on community, culture and the interesting people of the city. The local artists, businesses and charities; photographers, musicians and entertainers. These are the people that make a positive impact on our city every day. So they use video, audio, writing and social media to amplify the voices in our community. And to ultimately give a platform to Aberdeen folk to engage and tell their own stories.

Recent work includes coverage of Spectra 2022, interviews with We Are Here Scotland founder Ica Headlam; Paralympic gold medalist, Neil Fachie; Aberdeen rapper Chef and his push for success; an article by film director Mark Stirton about the state of high-rise buildings in the city; coverage of Nuart Aberdeen 2022 and TEDx Aberdeen, as well as coverage of British Art Show 9.

A great way to catch up with our work is by reading our 2021 Year in Review.