Arriving on a surprisingly sunny day in Aberdeen, we made our way to the Nuart Aberdeen offices where we were met by organiser Marisa who welcomed us, handed us our press packs and set about giving us directions to meet the artists and their creations!
First up was Hyuro who was busy working on the site of last years` piece by Julien de Casabianca; a paste up which has since peeled away. Hyuro`s new piece depicts two women fighting, yet unable to get away from each other due to their shirts being buttoned together. Hyuro is keen not reveal the meaning behind the piece, leaving discussions on its interpretation open. Karen, Hyuro’s assistant, she tells us that she sees it as having parallels to the Scottish independence vote, or Brexit. We’ll let you draw your own conclusions…
Next, we visit Union Plaza, where there are four pieces in very close proximity creating an incredible outdoor gallery. On the side of the Union Plaza building itself is an amazing piece by Ernest Zacharevic depicting a 10-15m tall child which appears to be climbing into the building! Even at this early stage, it’s clear that this will be one of his best pieces yet.
Opposite from Ernest are NIMI and RH74 with a nod to local folklore – their depiction of the green lady of Crathes Castle, cradling the castle and swathed in Aberdeen`s tartan is eerily magnificent. The detail of the face and mountains are yet to be added but already it is looking fantastic.
A few steps along the lane is the first of Milu Correch`s pieces – having met her at lunch she is extremely humble and disputes her place as one of the best Latin American street artists but when you see her piece you may disagree with her!
The final piece in the Union Plaza area is by Bordalo II who had not started his piece, but he and his assistant were getting ready by sawing apart wheelie bins, car bumpers and kids’ paddling pools! He was keeping tight-lipped about his piece though, so you’ll have to wait and see what he comes up with…
A bit further west along Union Street and you’ll find Phlegm’s work at the start of Holburn place. He had already been and gone by the time we arrived and has created a piece inspired by conflict over development plans at the Rubislaw quarry – the source of over six million tonnes of granite which built Aberdeen.
Just down the road you’ll find Conzo and Globel’s piece at the start of Willowbank Road – it looks to be a playful take on a traditional gable-end advert, but as yesterday’s rain had literally made their paint run down the walls as they tried to work on it, they were still at reasonably early stages when we saw it. If you’ve seen any of their previous work though, it’s sure to be eye-catching!
From here, we walked along Justice Mill Lane and Langstane Place, where many of the Aberdeen Painted Doors can be spied – there’s some great stuff to see here and it’s well worth checking out their website and map so you can see all of these if you’re up in Aberdeen.
Halfway along Langstane Place, on the corner of Dee Street, is Milu Correch’s second piece which was inspired by King James 6th of Scotland, who believed witches to be behind the storm which ravaged his ship whilst sailing back from Denmark. This led to the Danish king instigating witch trials which in turn led to King James 6th leading the infamous North Berwick witch trials. Even without the backstory, this piece is incredible – though if you’re easily offended (by nipples, specifically) stay away!
Next was Snik’s work along Virginia Street – a bit of car-dodging to get onto the central reservation led to a great view of this awesome stencil piece. They were just packing up for the day as we arrived but the piece, which is of a woman surrounded by blue tits attempting to carry her away on ropes – quite beautiful and dream-like.
Not far away, on the top of the St Nicholas shopping centre, you’ll find Bortusk Leer (who is not from Slovenia!) who has been busy pasting up local newspapers and completely covering them in his monsters – great fun! As we met, he was debating with himself about how rude he should make the sign one of the monsters will be holding – thanks to the kids’ playpark opposite he’s probably going to play it safe!
Last, but not least we made our way up Jopp’s Lane (where you’ll also find Fintan Magee and Robert Montgomery’s pieces from last year) to find Aberdonian Elki’s piece. The huge pile of used stencils left behind is testament to the massive amount of work condensed into this work – somewhere around 25 layers! Some of the detail is incredible and it’s well worth getting up close to check it out.
And that was it for the day – a well-earned coffee and we made our way back to the bus station. We had a fantastic time checking put all the pieces and will be back up again to see them all in their finished glory – more of that here soon, so stay tuned…
Nuart Aberdeen – useful information:
Nuart Aberdeen 2018 – Work in Progress
By Russell Pepper & Laurent Jacquet