Plans shaping up as artists prepare to transform Aberdeen city walls

Tree of Life, created by Carrie Reichardt, who will be participating in Nuart Aberdeen this April.
Tree of Life, created by Carrie Reichardt, who will be participating in Nuart Aberdeen this April.

Plans are taking shape for a major street art festival which returns to Aberdeen in April.

Now in its second year, Nuart Aberdeen, which is delivered by city centre organisation Aberdeen Inspired in partnership with Nuart Festival and Aberdeen City Council, is fast becoming one of Aberdeen’s most anticipated festivals.

Globally renowned artists will gather from around the world to transform some of the city’s walls into works of art from the April 12 to 15.

UK-based Carrie Reichardt is the first confirmed artist for Nuart Aberdeen 2018.

A self-titled ‘craftivist’ Carrie has been involved in community and public art projects for more than 15 years, designing and consulting on large-scale mosaic murals in various local communities with powerful messaging.

Carrie is currently artist-in-residence at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon, but will be taking time out of her busy schedule for a research trip to Aberdeen next month to explore historic archives at Aberdeen City Council.

Carrie said: “I’m honoured to be one of the first invited artists to take part in Nuart Aberdeen 2018.

“This will be my first visit to Aberdeen and I can’t wait to explore the archives to find out more about the city’s rich heritage.

“I always try to work site specifically – with a focus on people’s history – to shine a light on the stories that for one reason or another are forgotten over time.”

Some of the oldest and most complete set of records of any Scottish urban settlement are available within the Aberdeen city archives, which have been recognised by UNESCO for their outstanding historical importance to the UK.

Martyn Reed, director and curator of Nuart, said: “Most street artists produce work site-specifically but being able to draw from such a rich historical archive as this offers a wealth of ammunition for someone like Carrie.

“She has been making important work around social justice issues for many years and I’m sure she’ll discover many inspiring stories and artefacts from Aberdeen’s past.

“These stories form the fabric of the city as much as bricks and mortar do; they connect us to place across generations, and it’s this rich yet often overlooked heritage that we’ll be encouraging artists and the public alike to uncover as part of this year’s festival.”

Adrian Watson, CEO of Aberdeen Inspired, said: “We are proud to lead on Nuart Aberdeen for a second year.

“In no uncertain terms the globally acclaimed Nuart Aberdeen 2017 positively sparked the imagination of both residents and visitors alike and we are delighted to have Carrie Reichardt on-board as our first confirmed artist.”

Burness Paull and Aberdeen Standard Investments have been announced as presenting sponsors of this year’s festival.

Adrain continued: “We are very grateful for the valued support of our head sponsors, their impressive reputations in the business world speaks for itself and illustrates a confidence in what Nuart Aberdeen has and can further achieve in the years to come.

“Aberdeen Inspired and partners are building a fantastic festival in Nuart, which will not only be appreciated by ourselves in the north-east but help market Aberdeen as a destination of choice to visitors from the rest of the country and beyond.”

Elaine Farquharson-Black, partner and head of planning at Burness Paull, one of Scotland’s largest legal firms, said: “We are delighted to be sponsoring Nuart Aberdeen again. Last year’s event was a fantastic success which brought an incredible energy and vibrancy to the city.

“The festival is an exciting and unique way to encourage everyone to explore the hidden gems within the city centre. It showcases Aberdeen as a great place to live, work and play.”

Martin Gilbert, Co-CEO of Aberdeen Standard Investments, added: “The city of Aberdeen continues to be very important to us.

“We strive to support events which inspire and engage the local community – and so we are delighted to be supporting Nuart this year. I’m confident the 2018 event will be a tremendous success in making the city an even better and brighter place.”