Below is Juxtapoz editor Evan Pricco’s essay on the 2023 edition. Nuart Aberdeen. Added first release footage of the Nuart Aberdeen documentary filmed by Doug Gillen. fifth wall tv.I am always grateful for your help Aberdeen inspiration.
Stanley Donwood doesn’t seem like an obvious choice for a street art festival, with a career spanning more than 30 years art directing and album cover artwork for Radiohead. But when Martin Reid, founder and curator of the Nuart Festival and the Nuart Aberdeen Festival, now in its seventh year, created a 2023 edition of the Scottish Festival with the theme of ‘rewilding’. , Donwood became a revelation. His work has often depicted ghostly Gothic forest landscapes, ice and folklore, mythology and ancient landscapes. I was reminded of the words of Donwood’s collaborator, nature writer Robert MacFarlane. Back to McFarlane’s book. Mountains of Mind: The Adventure to Reach the Top, perhaps too familiar with the blueprints of modern urban landscapes, began to explore the idea of re-naturalization, the idea of humans in the midst of nature. “Most of us live in a world planned, themed and managed by humans most of the time,” he wrote. “People forget that environments exist that do not respond to the flick of a switch or the twist of a dial and have their own rhythms and order of existence. Mountains correct this amnesia. It speaks of powers greater than we can summon, countering our over-reliance on artifacts by confronting us for longer periods of time than we can imagine.” Transformation serves as a return to a sense of wonder, a protest against social structures, and a reminder that it is our innate nature to let nature take over rather than try to conquer it with the manifestation of infrastructure. There is a nature.
Rewilding as a street art festival theme is a clever use of the phrase. What we are talking about is re-wilding as a sense of adventure, applying art to unexpected and forbidden places to take advantage of challenging social norms to become spontaneous in urban playgrounds. Is it about rekindling the spirit of sex and survival? Is this a topic that conveys the ethos of guerrilla gardening and re-accessing public spaces for community use? Is it just a comment about being too stereotyped, too institutionalized, too attached to capitalist tendencies? The beauty of Reed’s Nuart Aberdeen is that it has all of the above. Jamie Reed’s landscape art project, Suun’s human-scale wheat paste, Nessspoon’s three-story floral mural, Escif’s environmentally conscious art, Eid Wilde’s subversive political art, and the artist, How do you line up a conference of curators, artists and historians with someone like Donwood? all in the same place. Trying to keep this group together is foolish, but it works.
Known around the world for its Granite City, Aberdeen’s architecture has a sense of permanence defined by striking gray Victorian, Edwardian and Brutalist designs. Solid rock, you might say. At its base, Aberdeen as canvas offers the perfect metaphor for rewilding. On the outskirts of the city, the rolling hills of north-east Scotland give way to the North Sea, providing a quick respite from the rigors of the city centre. But through the use of street art, or public art in general, that Nuart brings to the city each year, spontaneity and creative life emerge, like wildflowers found in the countryside just a few miles away. It also creates an atmosphere of exploration, transforming the urban landscape into a place where impenetrable architecture can replace the organic, the living. The beauty of Brazilian muralist Thiago Mazza’s floral and animal work is how he transforms an empty parking lot into a haven for plants. Eloise Guiraud’s mural depicts a woman surrounded by a forest landscape, enlivening the city center with the potential to overtake nature. And surprise when you see Stanley Donwood, Jamie Reed, or Swoon Wheat Paste in back alleys, side streets, and hidden corners, cities come to life where the possibilities for new experiences are established. indicates that
Nuart, and in particular curator Reid, understands that street art, public art and even graffiti have long been natural obsessions. At its best, this art form is a reaction to the concept of managed and arranged urban environments, where conglomerates own public spaces, chain stores monopolize boulevards, and outdoor advertising provides a dizzying visual collage of modern times. is. Some may think of Banksy. Banksy, ironically, had his first solo exhibition in over a decade at Glasgow’s Modern Art Gallery at the same time that Nuart opened. And it was this wild and natural answer that he used rats in his work. Our structured urban planning. Rats, who live between nature and humans, have long been pests and sworn enemies in art and literature for centuries, but their essence inhabits our streets. Symbol of something wild to do. Or you can think about how in 1982 artist Agnes Deans planted two acres of wheat in a landfill that would become Battery Park City on the southern tip of Manhattan. This, too, is a powerful statement to the public how his art speaks to rewilding our most crowded places. With Reed and this year’s Nuart, he has constant conversations about land and space. Who owns it, who occupies it, and how does art break down notions of permission and ownership by being spontaneous or creatively curated?
In an essay written ahead of the festival, Reed and Nuart’s team propose the following questions: What is your opponent’s excitement? The Nuart Festival has been around for nearly 20 years, and new themes are curated each year, but Rewilding seems to be the theme that has characterized the festival since its inception. Here is the heart of it. As we read MacFarlane’s remark that “mountains refute our over-reliance on man-made objects,” how good graffiti works and how it subverts our expectations. It got me thinking about how to create comfortable and sometimes uncomfortable scenarios. Life grows around us in the most unpredictable ways. Stanley Donwood’s series of wheat pastes lie beside an abandoned hospital in central Aberdeen. Each of the photographs depicts a road through dangerous dense forests, a gateway to landscapes far beyond the imagination of urban density. This is a statement of intent that rewilding lies both in our imaginations and our capabilities when thinking about public spaces. In his book The Wild Place, McFarlane writes, “Different aspects of the forest are linked together in unexpected ways, and different times and worlds can be connected in a story. It is.” Maybe we should look at street art now. —Evan Prico
Nuart Aberdeen It was held in Scotland from 8 to 11 June 2023.