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#murals#public art#street art

13 Artists ‘Rewild’ the City Streets for the 2023 Nuart Aberdeen Festival

June 22, 2023

Grace Ebert

A man walks in front of a brick wall with a wheatpase of a pregnant woman with blue swirls

Swoon. Photo by Brian Tallman. All images courtesy of Nuart Aberdeen, shared with permission

Rewilding is an approach to conservation that allows nature to reclaim its space and form a self-sustaining ecosystem. The restoration practice has become one favored solution to remedy environmental degradation and part of the lexicon for climate activism. In Scotland, the increasingly popular approach also brings discussions of land use and access to the fore, paralleling the way people move through cities.

Using rewilding as a way to reimagine what it means to cultivate street art culture, the 2023 Nuart Aberdeen Festival brought together 13 artists earlier this month. Held June 8 to 11, the annual festival commissioned works that explore the tension between sanctioned murals and the unauthorized tags synonymous with street art. Projects include Thiago Mazza’s vivid rendering of native plants, Nespoon’s reference to craft traditions of the area’s Bon Accord Bobbins Lace Group, and Murmure’s imprisoned goldfish that explicates the proliferation of plastic and inaction as it relates to the climate crisis. Swoon, known for her intimate wheat pastes, even came out of retirement to create a series of portraits spread across walls and tucked in doorways and alcoves.

Nuart organizers said this year’s goal was to “provoke reflections on what a city where art is truly free might look, sound, smell, and feel like.” See more from the festival on Instagram.

A wheatpase portrait of a young child on a pink door

Swoon. Photo by Brian Tallman

A mural features goldfish in a plastic bag with a tag over its form. The wall appeared on a commercial building

Murmure, “Anarchy.” Photo by Brian Tallman

A floral lace mural is on a wall with green grass int her foreground

Nespoon. Photo by Brian Tallman

A vibrant floral mural peeks out near a commercial building with plants in the foreground

Thiago Mazza. Photo by Brian Tallman

A gray and yellow landscape mural stands next to a brick building

Escif, “Pollution forest.” Photo by Brian Tallman

A woman wearing a beige top with her face turned from the viewer look back at lush greenery and grasps her arms in a mural on a brick facade. A steeple is in the background

Eloise Gillow. Photo by Brian Tallman

A mural of two women with backs to each other, each turned toward the sides and wearing neutral tops and black pants. Greenery surrounds them

Eloise Gillow. Photo by Brian Tallman

An ethereal portrait of a woman on the edge of a building with a green backdrop. Trees are in the foreground

Tamara Alves. Photo by Clarke Joss

#murals#public art#street art

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