If you’re looking for an exciting way to explore Aberdeen’s street art scene, there’s no better place to start than setting out to explore the city’s Nuart Aberdeen murals. BBC Alba broadcast Tog do Shuil, a brilliant new documentary about the festival and many have been inspired to search out more. Since 2017, the team behind Nuart Aberdeen team has brought some of the world’s best street artists to the city to make their mark. It is, without question, one of the most important street art festivals in the world.

In this post, we’ll take a look at what makes Nuart Aberdeen so special. We’ll also share some handy tips on how to best explore the Nuart Aberdeen murals.

Every year, Nuart Aberdeen brings together some of the world’s most renowned street artists. Each of them has created stunning murals in the city’s streets, parks, and public spaces.


A brief history of Nuart Aberdeen

Artist and curator Martyn Reed founded Nuart in Stavanger, Norway in 2002. He had found inspiration in the street art festivals he had attended in Europe, and wanted to bring that same energy to Stavanger, and later in 2017 to Aberdeen.

Over the years, Nuart Aberdeen has grown and evolved. And so it has now become one of the planet’s most important street art festivals. World-class artists come to Aberdeen every year to take part in the festival. They transform the city’s streets and public spaces into vibrant, dynamic works of art.

Nuart Aberdeen has also become a major draw for tourists. Large numbers flock to the city every year to see the murals and explore Aberdeen’s streets. It has clearly become one of the city’s biggest attractions. It’s also a great starting point for discovering Aberdeen’s unique culture and history.

Nuart Aberdeen highlights

Nuart Aberdeen has featured some of the world’s most renowned street artists. They have left behind a legacy of amazing public art. From the striking, vibrant murals of Martin Whatson and Slim Safont to the surreal and captivating works of Strok, Aberdeen’s streets are filled with stunning works of art.

Here are a few of the best murals that artists have created for Nuart Aberdeen:

Nuno Viegas at Gerrard Street

KMG

KMG‘s massive mural on the side of Union Square is something special. Ken is a favourite of the Gray’s School of Art graduate. I think it’s safe to say, this is the biggest version of the playful character that KMG has produced.

Martin Whatson

Martin Whatson’s “The Quarry Worker” is a powerful homage to the grit and determination of Aberdeen’s granite workers, a reminder of the importance of hard work and dedication. With his signature style which blends graffiti elements and calligraphic scribbles with vibrant colours, Whatson depicts a stencilled man sitting on top of a granite block.

Slim Safont

Slim Safont’s massive mural on Union Plaza is one of the finest examples of street art on display in Aberdeen. It not only looks brilliant but it also makes a strong point. You can either read it as a slight on big companies avoiding paying their taxes or about schools being there solely to produce good little taxpayers. How do you interpret it? That’s up to you.

Helen Bur at Union Row

Strok

Strok’s work is electric, focusing on movement and how it interacts with the surrounding environment. As a photographer, he snaps shots of his subject moving through the streets below and transforms them into multi-layer stencils. When he places these works on the wall, they create a distorted perspective.

Helen Bur

One of the most eye-catching murals is Helen Bur’s stunning portrait of a couple with their baby at Union Row. It’s stunning to see such an intimate scene on such a huge scale. The mural is a beautiful testament to the importance of family and community.

Nuno Viegas

Nuno Viegas‘ has a background in graffiti writing, but when creating murals, his style is particularly polished. The finished product is clean and finessed, a contrast to the rough and ready nature of graffiti. His graffiti heritage is still reflected in this artwork. With strong bright colours and bold lines, it’s one of the strongest murals of the 2022 crop.

Smug

Now missing its iconic neighbour across The Green, SMUG‘s photorealistic portrait of his friend along with his dog is a firm favourite with both passers-by and street art fans. It’s one of the most striking Nuart Aberdeen murals and is often the first one visitors see when they arrive in Aberdeen by bus or train.

These are just a few of the incredible murals you can find in Aberdeen, and there are so many more to explore. Also, don’t forget to look out for smaller Nuart work and some of the fantastic work by local street artists and graffiti writers along the way.

Tips for exploring Aberdeen’s Nuart murals yourself

If you’re looking to explore Aberdeen’s street art scene with Nuart, here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your experience:

  • Make sure to bring a camera. Nuart Aberdeen’s murals are a sight to behold, and you’ll want to capture the experience. Use the hashtag #NuartAberdeen on social media, and the official account might even share your images.
  • Take your time. Nuart Aberdeen’s murals are complex works of art, and it’s worth spending some time with them, looking from different spots and considering what they mean to you
  • Look for work from local artists along the way. Check out the brilliant Street Art Aberdeen for an interactive map of most of the graffiti and murals on display around town.
  • Explore the city. Aberdeen is a vibrant and exciting city, and it’s worth exploring to get the most out of your experience. Grab a coffee from a local café as you wander around.
  • Nuart Aberdeen hosts tours from spring through to autumn. They are a brilliant way to hear the back stories and gossip about the murals. This really is the best way to learn all about the art, giving you a deeper understanding of the work that adorns our city walls.

A masterpiece of public art

Over the past 5 years, artists have transformed the city centre of Aberdeen into a masterpiece of public art. The talented lineup of artists who have left their mark on walls comes from all over the world. Following these tips will help you to get the most out of your Nuart Aberdeen experience, and it’s sure to be an unforgettable experience.

Whether you’re local to Aberdeen or just visiting, it’s worth taking a trip along a section of the city to go see these murals. They provide a unique reason to explore Scotland’s most colourful city.

Nuart Aberdeen will be back in 2023

Nuart Aberdeen exceeded all expectations last year by bringing people together in a time of disconnection. The festival attracted thousands of art enthusiasts from Aberdeen and around the world to flock to the city centre. They were mesmerised by the breathtaking street art and participated in the festive activities with great joy.

It’s no surprise that this cherished event will return for yet another year this June. Nuart Aberdeen, since it arrived in the city in 2017, has become an integral part of the community, elevating the unique character of Aberdeen to new heights, and bringing with it a splash of colour.



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 also 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.