Art

Global Street Art Festival Comes to Aberdeen

Aberdeen city centre is about to be transformed as Europe's finest street artists arrive for the first Nuart festival in the UK

The centre of Aberdeen is getting a unique makeover in the next few days, as some of the best street artists in Europe cover the city in a riot of colour.

The proud and prosperous port city of Scotland’s northeast coast has been hit hard by the recent downturn in the oil industry, and many shops on the high street have been boarded up.

But the Nuart Aberdeen festival has invited a selection of top street artists to produce new work at specially-chosen sites in the city centre.

A striking image of a woman by German collective Herakut has transformed the outside of the Aberdeen Market building, considered one of the drabbest concrete buildings in the city. And Norwegian street artist Martin Whatson has produced a mural of a golfer on the side of McKay’s shop building on Queen Street.

Street art like this turns heads and it is exactly what the city needs

Set up in 2001 in the Norwegian city of Stavanger, Nuart is considered one of the world’s leading celebrations of street art. This week’s festival in Aberdeen marks the very first time it has been held in the UK.

“Street art like this turns heads and it is exactly what the city needs,” said Adrian Watson, chief executive of festival partner, Aberdeen Inspired. “We hope people from around the UK and abroad will come to see some of the street art on show. A festival like this just shows the ambition of the city.”

James Finucane, festival manager for Nuart, said organizers were attracted to the idea of helping “regenerate” the city centre, with the council fully on board for some urban beautification.

“The city is a canvas,” said Finucane. “It is a great place for a bit of street art. We have some walls that won’t be used this year so we will look at them in the future.”

The festival runs from April 14-16

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