Get out and explore Aberdeen's Nuart murals

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'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’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.


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 Street Art Walking 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.

Tog do Shùil - Nuart Aberdeen doc explores a painted city

Tog do Shùil is the fantastic new documentary from Midas Media that follows the journey of journalist Mairi Rodgers, a newcomer to the world of street art. It follows her as she becomes a volunteer at the 2022 Nuart Aberdeen festival. It’s available to watch on iPlayer until Wednesday 15 Feb.

She provides a unique insight into the festival, offering a behind-the-scenes look at the creative process and showcasing the work of the amazing people who make it happen including world-class artists like Slim Safont, Jacoba Niepoort and James Klinge.. It’s a great way to experience the energy and excitement of Nuart Aberdeen and gain a deeper appreciation for the dynamic between the characters that surround it. The city looks pretty awesome too.

Martyn Reed founded Nuart in 2002 in Stavanger, Norway. Having attended street art festivals in Europe, Reed wanted to bring the same energy to Stavanger and later, in 2017, to Aberdeen.

Nuart brings together the globe's best street artists

Each year, Nuart Aberdeen brings together some of the globe's best street artists to create stunning murals throughout the city.

The show itself revolves around Nuart Aberdeen 2022. The street art festival has become an annual event since it came to the city in 2017. It has helped Aberdeen gain an impressive reputation as a world-class street art destination. Two of the 2022 murals have been nominated for major international street art awards!

It will also feature legendary American photojournalist Martha Cooper who has spent her life capturing the graffiti scene globally. Most famously, the New York graffiti scene in the 70s and 80s. Cooper will share her impressions of the streets of Aberdeen in the documentary.

Tog do Shùil - look up at the painted city

Aberdeen has become a world-class destination for street art. The city's vibrant and diverse murals can be found on buildings dotted around the city centre, making it an integral part of the city's visual landscape. The Nuart Aberdeen murals attracted attention from around the world and have been featured in numerous publications and exhibitions. Whether you're an art lover or simply looking for something unique and exciting to see, Aberdeen's street art is sure to impress.

Aberdeen Art Gallery’s exterior view

5 fantastic reasons to visit Aberdeen Art Gallery

Aberdeen Art Gallery is a vibrant cultural hub located in the heart of Aberdeen. Established in 1884, it’s a central cultural destination in the heart of the city, but since it’s re-opening in 2019, it has taken on a more welcoming member of the community. Gone are the days of shushing security guards and signs saying “no photography!” This is a space you can enjoy in short bites, or for a whole day.

It showcases classics and contemporary art, regularly exhibiting the works of emerging artists. The collections on display are always changing. In fact, it looks like the 2023 schedule of events is going to be one of its busiest yet.

Aberdeen Art Gallery is a vibrant cultural hub located in the heart of Aberdeen
Aberdeen Art Gallery is a vibrant cultural hub located in the heart of Aberdeen

The gallery's transformative renovation

The renovation of the gallery, which began in 2015, was a highly anticipated project in the city. The project aimed to transform the gallery into a world-class cultural destination for the community.

The renovation provided additional exhibition space and a rooftop terrace. It reopened in 2019 and attracted thousands of visitors from all over the world. The gallery was named Scotland’s building of the year in 2021 following the £36.4m redevelopment.

The Aberdeen Art Gallery is home to a diverse collection of artworks, ranging from traditional Scottish paintings to modern contemporary pieces.

The gallery regularly hosts exhibitions featuring the work of both local and international artists, providing visitors with the opportunity to see a wide range of artistic styles and techniques.

Aberdeen Art Gallery was named Scotland’s building of the year in 2021
Aberdeen Art Gallery was named Scotland’s building of the year in 2021

5 reasons you should visit Aberdeen Art Gallery

  1. The gallery is located in the heart of Aberdeen and is free to visit, making it easily accessible and convenient for you to spend time there.
  2. The gallery is a popular cultural destination for both locals and tourists, offering a unique experience for all who visit.
  3. Visiting the Aberdeen Art Gallery is a great way to spend an afternoon exploring the city's rich cultural heritage and supporting the local art community. It's a lot of fun. Long gone are the stuffy days of "No Cameras" and "Keep Quiet!"
  4. One of the standout features of the Aberdeen Art Gallery is its impressive architecture. The building itself is a work of art and grand design. The interior of the gallery is equally impressive, with high ceilings, ornate plasterwork, and marble floors.
  5. Visitors to the Aberdeen Art Gallery are able to explore the various galleries and exhibitions at their leisure. There is also the option to take a guided tour led by the gallery's knowledgeable and friendly staff members.
Aberdeen Art Gallery favourite by Tracy Emin
Aberdeen Art Gallery favourite by Tracy Emin

Temporary exhibitions are a reason to visit regularly

In addition to its permanent collection, the gallery also hosts a number of temporary exhibitions throughout the year. These exhibitions are an excellent way to see a diverse range of art and provide a chance for visitors to experience something new and exciting every time they visit.

One of the highlights of the temporary exhibitions program is the annual open submission show, which invites artists from all over Scotland to submit their work for consideration. This show is a great opportunity for emerging artists to showcase their talent and get their work seen by a wider audience.

Aberdeen Art Gallery also offers a range of educational and community programs
Aberdeen Art Gallery also offers a range of educational and community programs

Aberdeen Art Gallery tours and educational visits

In addition to its art collection and exhibitions, Aberdeen Art Gallery also offers a range of educational and community programs. These include artist talks, workshops, and school holiday activities, as well as special events and talks. These programs provide a great opportunity for visitors of all ages to learn more about the world of art and get involved in the cultural life of the city.

Overall, Aberdeen Art Gallery is an essential destination for anyone interested in art and culture. Its stunning architecture, impressive collection, and engaging program of exhibitions and events make it a must-visit for tourists and locals alike. So next time you're in Aberdeen, be sure to pay a visit to this wonderful cultural institution.

Upcoming events at Aberdeen Art Gallery

New Deeside Way street art encourages active travel

If you use the Deeside Way from Duthie Park regularly, you'll see a new colourful mural by KMG.

Aberdeen Cycle Forum commissioned the artwork to celebrate those who use the Deeside Way and to encourage others to get on their bike. It celebrates the Deeside Way's shared-use nature and encourages people to exercise more.

Sustrans' ArtRoots fund supported Aberdeen Cycle Forum in painting the wall below Great Southern Road, near Duthie Park. It'll be seen by many on this well-used section of the Deeside Way. Artist KMG created the design and has been painting on site this week to bring it to life.

Aberdeen Cycle Forum are a local voluntary organisation who campaign for the benefit of cyclists and active travel within the city. A major goal of the forum is to promote bicycle use as a viable and sustainable option for transport. They work with other organisations to improve cycle facilities and to raise awareness of issues affecting cyclists.

KMG has produced many street art works around the city, including two huge murals for Nuart Aberdeen. Last year she painted her much loved character Ken on the side of Union Square.

Deeside Way works best if everyone respects the needs of everyone else

Rachel Martin from Aberdeen Cycle Forum said, “Deeside Way is a much-loved, much-valued, and much-used piece of infrastructure in our city and we wanted to celebrate cycling and active travel while also encouraging tolerance and respect among all the different types of users. A shared-use space like Deeside Way works best if everyone respects the needs of everyone else.

"We hope KMG’s fabulous design will make people smile and inspire them to be physically active by whatever means works for them whether it be walking, cycling, wheeling, running, or scootering.”

An animal-themed design displays a family cycling alongside a dog walker and someone using a wheelchair. The family of cyclists are portrayed as leopards, a nod to Aberdeen’s history and coat of arms, while a gull and blackbird overhead provide another north-east reference.

So next time you're cycling or walking along the Deeside Way, be sure to look out for the colourful new addition!

Gray's Degree Show bursts with colour

Three years have passed since the last Gray's Degree Show. Like many of us, this year's graduates have spent a good deal of their studies working from home. They've had to self-motivate and have missed out on social interaction and mutual inspiration.

You may think this might affect some of the quality of work, but I'm here to tell you that the artwork on display is some of the most spectacular, fully realised in the show's stellar history.

Over 100 graduating artists and designers have presented their projects at this year's event. Among the disciplines on display are painting, contemporary art practice, fashion and textiles, communication design, photography, and 3D design, many of which are actually on sale.

Image courtesy of The Gatehouse

A highlight of the Gray's calendar each year, the Degree Show celebrates the talents and achievements of the final-year students. The work created by graduates at Gray's Degree show is of really high quality. But that isn't the whole story. It's also very accessible and entertaining.

This show is probably the best way in the city to see such a huge range of art styles all in one place.

A testament to the graduates drive

Show producer Sally Moir was keen to praise the work of the graduates. She told us, “The effort, ambition, thoughtfulness, criticality throughout the graduating student shows across fine art and design is an absolute testament to their drive to put on a physical show after such a challenging art school journey.

“Be sure to come along over the next week to immerse yourself in an array of creative practices, we promise it will not disappoint.”

Image courtesy of The Gatehouse

Speaking personally, I haven't enjoyed viewing art in digital spaces through the pandemic years. It was an imperfect solution to a very real problem. It wasn't great way to engage with the work, but it must also have been extremely challenging for pupils to recreate their vision in digital.

It's clear that many of this year's final-year students have also been keen to ditch digital. The vast majority of the work on display is right there in the real world…and it's so much fun. As a result, the whole space has amazingly positive energy.

Image courtesy of The Gatehouse

It's no surprise that organisers chose "Welcome to the real world" as this year's tagline. These artists are pushing forward to the future. There's a positivity and ambition on display that's infectious. Despite a busy schedule, I actually left feeling refreshed and inspired.

The Grays Degree Shows are always brilliant in their own ways, but this year's iteration was one of my favourites. I'll definitely be taking the time to visit again. You should get down to see it before it ends on Saturday 18 June 2022.

It's free and it's fun so take a friend along with you. You might find it gives you a lot to talk about.

Aberdeen Events

Check out Gray's Degree Show 2022 on Aberdeen Events

Find more events and activities in the Aberdeen Events Calendar

Nuart Plus | More than murals

Organisers have announced Nuart Plus, a program of exciting events to celebrate Aberdeen's much-loved street art festival Nuart Aberdeen. These take place from 9-12 June.

The festival weekend will not only include walking tours and art workshops. But also film screenings, debates, food, drink, and craft stalls, as well as stage entertainment.

Nuart Aberdeen will be officially launched at 1 pm on Saturday 11 June. It will kick off in conjunction with a special Inspired Nights event on Broad Street. Inspired Nights will feature music, street food, bars, and creative spaces for both children and adults throughout the weekend.

Free walking tours around the new murals and art installations will begin after the official launch ceremony. They will also continue at regular times on Saturday and Sunday.

In addition, the festival programme includes exclusive film screenings at the Belmont Cinema. You can also look forward to a free conference at the Cowdray Hall that will explore the festival theme of Reconnect.

Aberdeen Inspired and Aberdeen City Council revealed earlier this month that a total of 11 artists from around the world will converge in the city in June to create brand-new street art for the people of the city to connect with.

Nuart Plus | Martha: A Picture Story

The festival's conference programme will begin with a screening of Martha: A Picture Story. The film chronicles the remarkable career and life of Martha Cooper, an American photojournalist. Throughout her career, she has published photographs in Smithsonian, National Geographic, and Natural History magazines as well as several dozen books and journals.

Nuart Plus | Martha Cooper

In 1984 Martha published a book of photographs illustrating the graffiti subculture known as Subway Art. The book sold millions of copies worldwide and became known as the "Bible" of graffiti.

Nuart Aberdeen's Martyn Reed commented on the festival weekend, saying: “What a privilege it will be to welcome Martha Copper to Aberdeen for the launch of the festival. Born in the 1940’s she is a lady that I have great admiration for and one that has accomplished so much throughout her career.

“She broke new pictorial ground highlighting a grassroots art movement that was later embraced by mainstream culture while remaining steadfast to be recognised as more than just a graffiti photographer.

Nuart Plus | Keynotes from the Cowdray Hall

The conference will also feature keynotes by Dr Erik Hannerz from South Korea, Dr Lachlan MacDowall from Australia, and Dr Stephen Pritchard from the UK. The conference talks and presentations will be held at the Cowdray Hall. They are free and open to the public.

Nuart Plus | Miss.Printed

Nuart Plus | Street Collage

NESCOL is hosting a free Street Collage Workshop with Miss.Printed and Rhed Fawell. Festival artist Miss.Printed has a passion for locative collage. She makes small paper collages and leaves them behind in urban environments for others to find and reflect on.

This hands-on two-hour workshop will allow participants to create their very own collage piece to place on the streets of Aberdeen. Spaces for the workshop are limited and people interested in taking part should apply online.

Nuart Plus | Chalk Don't Chalk

The Chalk Don’t Chalk Workshop will operate outside Provost Skene House on 12 June. People of all ages can drop in anytime during these hours to create their own chalk street art pieces on the ground beneath them. They give everyone the "freedom of the city" to create their own street art.

Nuart Plus | Inspired Nights

Nuart Plus | Inspired Nights and walking tours

Inspired Nights, popular in previous years at The Green will run all weekend, now located on Broad Street.

The popular Nuart Aberdeen walking tours are back too. Also now starting from Broad Street, they are free and open to all ages. Tickets must be booked in advance.

Adrian Watson of Aberdeen Inspired commented on the festival programme: “What better place than Aberdeen city centre to act as the perfect stage for the events that will bolster our highly acclaimed street art festival, Nuart Aberdeen.

“Everyone will find something to enjoy as part of the festival weekend and the programme of events, workshops, film screenings and tours simply act as a further draw to reconnect people with the city.

Do you want to know more about the Nuart Aberdeen 2022 artists? Check this out...

Nuart Aberdeen 2022

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.

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

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

Nuart Aberdeen 2022 announced

Nuart Aberdeen 2022 has been confirmed for this summer and will be held on 9-12 June. Once again, the city and its walls will serve as the canvas for world-class street artists.

The streetscape of Granite City has been transformed by Nuart Aberdeen over the last four years. More than thirty street artists, hailing from the USA, Europe, Australia, South America and the UK, painted stunning works of art. The city's walls, pavements, billboards and even potholes have transformed the city centre into an outdoor art exhibition featuring everything from golfers to leopards.

The event began with the production of the first mural by Herakut at the Green in 2017. It was an iconic piece and many people were heartbroken when developers tore it down over the past month. All the way up to the remarkable mural Helen Burr painted on the gable end of the Meridian building on Union Row last summer, portraying a couple and their baby. People are hugely attracted to the art and consider it part of the city. It's expected that the murals from Nuart Aberdeen 2022 will have an equally big impact.

It's been a rough couple of years

Martyn Reed directed and curated the first Nuart festival in Stavanger in 2001. His goal has always been to make art accessible to everyone.

Martyn commented, "It's been a rough couple of years. Having to cancel the 2020 edition a month before the launch was absolutely demoralising. The team had worked so hard getting plans into place with so many local businesses, partners and volunteers. But this paled into insignificance compared with the challenges we all faced individually and collectively as the reality of the pandemic became clear. I think many of us, cities included, became more insular. Siloed and focused on getting through a major global crisis.

“But even through all of this, we managed to stay connected to friends. Our extended family and network in Aberdeen, was always more than "business". Returning to "reconnect" was always a light at the end of the corona tunnel. I can't adequately express how happy we are to be back amongst those friends and family who kept things moving through 2020 and 2021.

Bring something special back to a city we regard as home

“We've asked the artists and guests to consider this theme of "Reconnect" for 2022. Reconnecting with each other, public space, dreams, and hope for the future. Hopefully, Nuart Aberdeen can help in easing some of the collective anxiety we've all been feeling these past few years. We can bring back a sense of community. I don't want to make any grand claims about art’s place in the grand scheme of things. We’d just like the people of Aberdeen to know we're going to do our best to bring something special back to a city we regard as home."

The festival weekend will feature a full line-up of street art productions. It' will be back with events, community workshops, creative spaces, talks, conference programmes, and tours. It’s shaping up to be the most exciting festival to date.

The city centre is expected to be flooded with thousands of people throughout the weekend. They'll be able take in the murals and installations created by the artists. And also enjoy all that is on offer as part of the festival experience.

The finest internationally acclaimed street artists

Commenting on the return of the festival, Adrian Watson, of Aberdeen Inspired said “Nuart Aberdeen is a festival unlike any other seen in the city. It has a mass appeal and inspires people of all ages to enjoy art in their own way at their own pace.

“We are delighted to bring the festival back to the city centre this year. Locals and visitors can expect to see work from some of the finest internationally acclaimed street artists.

“Nuart Aberdeen has firmly placed Aberdeen on the global stage as a destination of choice for street art enthusiasts.  This coupled with our developing food scene, café culture, reopening of Union Terrace Gardens, superb theatres, clubs and pubs and other attractions all help to position Aberdeen as a great place to live, work and visit.”

Walls are critical to making Nuart Aberdeen 2022 a success.  Organisers at Aberdeen Inspired are appealing to property owners to become part of the event. They can put forward potential walls for artists to make their own during the festival. In particular, they are still on the hunt for a few big external city centre walls in good condition, visible to the public and not granite or listed.

To submit a wall, please send an email to with the following information: a photo of the wall, address and approximate dimensions of the wall.

SPECTRA is returning to Aberdeen!


SPECTRA is returning to Aberdeen!

By Kevin Mitchell

We are incredibly excited to share that SPECTRA will be returning to Aberdeen in 2022! Scotland’s festival of light creates a stunning lightscape across the city and brings with it four days of family-friendly fun to Aberdeenshire, taking inspiration from Scotland’s Year of Stories in 2022.

SPECTRA opens in Aberdeen from Thursday 10th to Sunday 13th February and will once again light up the winter nights in Aberdeen. This festival of light encourages you to get out and experience the interactive light sculptures, architectural projections and film to create new ways of exploring the city.

They will appear in Marischal College, Union Street, Broad Street, Upperkirkgate, Schoolhill, Marischal Square and also in Scotlands award-winning ‘Best Building‘, Aberdeen Art Gallery.

Having spent so much of our time tucked away indoors or navigating public spaces with care, SPECTRA presents itself as the perfect event suitable for friends and family alike to safely get together, and with both indoor and outdoor spaces it also sets up Aberdeen as the ideal destination for both visitors and staycationers to come join us in 2022.

SPECTRA is an event for all the family!

Free, family-friendly and interactive makes SPECTRA the perfect event for all the family. Our advice is to check the weather, dress appropriately and everyone gets ready to unlock their imagination!

Find out the latest information on the SPECTRA website.

We’re truly excited to welcome audiences back to the city centre …

– Cllr Marie Boulton, Aberdeen City Council Culture Spokesperson

Cllr Marie Boulton, Aberdeen City Council Culture Spokesperson said: “I can’t think of a better way to kick off Aberdeen’s 2022 cultural programme than with Spectra, Scotland’s festival of light. Cities are spaces that thrive when people are walking the streets together and enjoying events like Spectra, so we’re truly excited to welcome audiences back to the city centre after a very difficult couple of years dealing with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

We can’t wait to attend SPECTRA, it’s up there as one of our favourite cultural events in the city and we love seeing the streets filled with people, couples, friends and families as they take it all in!

For now, check out our video from the last time SPECTRA visited us here in Aberdeen.

SPECTRA 2020 was themed around the coasts and waters of Scotland, bringing light and giant artistic wonders to the city of Aberdeen. Check out our video!

Scotland's Festival of Light

SPECTRA, the festival of light is a wonderfully visual experience for all to enjoy. Check out some of the photographs from previous events!

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What legacy will BAS9 leave the people of Aberdeen?

British Art Show 9 (BAS9) finished its run at Aberdeen Art Gallery this weekend. And so, gallery staff will carefully pack up the show for now. Then soon, organisers with ship the show to Wolverhampton for its next leg. It has faced challenges over the past few months, opening during a global pandemic doesn't help. The themes of healing, care and reparative history have maybe not always been obvious to a public with Brexit and Covid-19 weighing heavily on their mind. However, the work was bold and undeniable.

We wanted to speak to a few people about BAS9. Have a think about what legacy we hope that the show will leave our city. It costs us a lot of money to put on grand shows like this in Aberdeen. I think it's reasonable for us to expect a lasting legacy. Artists, fans, local venues and the city's communities should feel we have all gained something permanent from our experience.

What legacy should BAS9 leave?

Artists and fans should feel a greater connection with Aberdeen Arts Gallery. Smaller galleries should see a surge in interest from a public keen to see more modern art, particularly from local artists. Communities should feel seen and included by the gallery. A gallery that in earlier years may have not found the need to reach out.

One of the things that we've enjoyed is being part of is the community of ambassadors for BAS9. Not everyone loved everything about the show. We loved the video and documentary work, but it's been brilliant to talk to talk to other ambassadors about their views. We've all had very different experiences of the show, and that divergence has been fascinating. It feels like the beginnings of something very exciting in the city. A group of people confident enough to say what they like about art. But perhaps more interestingly, to enjoy hearing others speak about their experience. This should not be wasted.

Reema Shoaib

First of our contributors is Reema Shoaib. Reema runs ChaiTime a Facebook community which she created to build inclusivity in arts and the creative industry between Britain and Pakistan. It was amazing to hear her experience. She was able to use the work of artists from minority communities from the show to engage with some of Aberdeen's communities.

The British Art Show 9 exhibition commenced just when Aberdeen was waking up from the hibernation of the Covid-19 pandemic. BAS9 is perhaps the biggest thing to happen in the city, since the lockdown. Aberdeen is the only Scottish location, and also the host city selected to launch the tour. The prestige of the exhibition along with the theme of contemporary art exhibits, something never before seen at this scale in Aberdeen, all garnered interest and curiosity from locals. I am truly honoured to play my part part in the Ambassador’s group. It was wonderful that Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museum’s City Coordinator recruited me for the show.

ChaiTime founder and BAS9 ambassador Reema Shoaib

My list of tasks included creating a collaboration and understanding for the show within the ethnic communities and foreign nationals living in Aberdeen. A city that houses the highest number of ethnic minority communities than any other city in Scotland. I view this task as a nod to the council’s Cultural Strategy 2018-2028 of creating engagement in arts and culture that truly reflects the cultural diversity of Aberdeen.

My job was made easier by the sheer magnitude of the exhibition. Couple this with the fact that I was promoting something backed by the City Council and the Art Gallery. Furthermore, it had names attached to it like Hayward Gallery Touring. Finally the honour that we were the first city to host the exhibition. This all joined together to make a compelling case to take to Aberdeen's communities.

Sharing with all Aberdeen's communities

There were 33 artists in the show at Aberdeen, presenting a mix of film, photography, painting, sculpture and live performances. Another significant factor of BAS9 was the healthy inclusion of international work as well as artists from minority communities living in the UK. The knowledge that people can view art work from their own region or community upped the interest of our local communities. It definitely encouraged them to come and enjoy the exhibition.

The knowledge that people can view art work from their own region or community upped the interest of our local communities
Reema Shoaib

The fact that the exhibition was free to view was an essential difference. BAS9 had no tickets attached, except to check-in with the QR Code as per the safety guidelines. I feel that also helped motivate people to easily come and check it out.

BAS9 has indeed proven to be a source of inspiration for most of the city’s arts and cultural activities, now and moving forward. Already we can see the offshoot in the form of the splendid LookAgain series Beyond BAS9. This is a series of events, workshops, exhibitions, talks and tours all taking the art scene forward.

The legacy of BAS9 will and should converge into more such activities and people. Additionally, Aberdeen Art Gallery should keep in touch with the communities jolted by the show. There should be more reaching out to them through such engagements. Contemporary art shows are definitely something new to the city. However, in my opinion, the people of Aberdeen have graciously accepted this opportunity. The gallery should develop this interest further.

Rita Kermack

Next up we hear from Rita Kermack. Rita is an artist, graduate of Gray's School of Art and a member of the Aberdeen Artists Society. She thinks that the last three months have proven that Aberdeen is well able to host massive shows like the British Art Show.

One of the successes, in my opinion, was the network of support and associated events that were organised on the local level. The fact that this was possible shows that Aberdeen’s art and culture scene is alive and active. Despite this, the city is often referred to as a cultural desert by those who are not directly involved in the various initiatives. There is a lack of visibility. A lack of presence on a day-to-day basis, compared to what’s going on in Dundee for example. The engagement with BAS9 has brought the various agencies into the foreground. It has made them more visible to the general public. Hopefully, BAS9 is a catalyst for further growth in that direction.

Artist and BAS9 ambassador Rita Kermack

In terms of visibility, BAS9 has encouraged us all to come together to collaborate, support and debate. Some of that had been going on already in the background but having this common focus, maybe, added strength. A stronger network and mutual support amongst AAGM, collectives, agencies and individuals as well as Gray’s School of Art and NESCOL has been built. This could advance the creative industries in the city and shire to a level that attracts not only visitors but also sponsors.

Hosting prestigious exhibitions on a frequent basis can create a fertile environment for art education in the city and shire
Rita Kermack

Hosting prestigious exhibitions on a frequent basis can create a fertile environment for the art education in the city and shire. Collaborations with Gray’s School of Art, NESCOL and schools will help raise the profile and recognition of art and design as a valuable career path within the Northeast. This is necessary to grow the creative industries here. To provide jobs to encourage new graduates, emerging and early career artists to stay in the city.

The ambassador program

The ambassador program created many varied opportunities for community members and local artists. I was able to be involved and get to know the people behind AAGM. This experience gave me a great boost, having just graduated from Gray’s. Also, the work experiences I gained are invaluable.

Reaching out to communities in such a personal, tangible way will break barriers. It will promote the gallery as an interactive place for learning and exploring. A place for everyone.

We're adding more to this article soon

We'll be adding thoughts from more people over the next few days. Follow our social media channels for updates. If you would like to read more about British Art Show 9 and where it's going next, you could check out the exhibition website.