Tours, Films, & Fight Night : Nuart x Aberdeen x BSA Dispatch 3

“I have two questions,” said one smartly sweatered and coiffed lady of a certain age. She had grabbed an elbow as we waded through the 350-person tour that we were leading through Aberdeen streets with Jon Reid. “Who gave you all permission to paint your pictures on these walls?” she asked. “And number two: When and where did this whole movement begin?”

Martin Whatson (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Those seemed like relatively easy to answer questions, and they would have been if a small blue car didn’t start honking it’s little insistent horn at us, seeing as we were standing in the middle of the road with Mrs. Siddens. As it turns out, Mrs. Siddens didn’t just have two questions. She had 162.

But that is to be expected here in Aberdeen right now as Nuart has more or less popped open the magic Street Art lamp and the lively spirits are swirling up Jopps Lane camera-in-hand behind parking lots and mechanic shops, and other streets that locals rarely explore.

So here’s an aspect of the scene that we don’t interact with too much – the completely gob-smacked art fan who can’t believe their luck to be regaled with new art and artists. The big cities that have a history with graffiti and, later, street art – or just the plastic arts in general, are often blasé when encountering a new addition to the street, so easily spoiled us humans are.

Jaune. Need we say more? (photo © Jaime Rojo)

But here in Aberdeen – today it looked like there had been such a pent-up desire for any kind of public visual expression of art in the streets that it erupted inside the bottle and verily foamed and frothed out to these historied brick streets.– Like a top secret camera-armed terrorist cell suddenly activated; old, young, entire families… all fanned out across the streets to capture hundreds, thousands of images of M-City and Jaune and Nipper and Alice Mirachi and Martin Whatson and all of the crew.

Okay terrorist analogies are ham-handed, but its just like that!

Jaune (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Our BSA Film Friday LIVE event at the Belmont Filmhouse was a lot of fun, with engaged and aghast reactions to art interventions by artists like Kut Collective, Akay, and Vhils. Hawaiian born artist Hula’s portraits painted on ice rafts in the melting arctic cap amongst the Inuit people was the one that actually elicited gasps, with at least one woman crying.

Also Street Artist Fintan Magee left his wall early to come to the show and be our special guest presenter of his video about his mural made during his time with Syrian children who were confined to refugee camps in Amman, Jordan recently.


Add Fuel at work. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Also, have we mentioned the Fight Night? A Nuart tradition worth preserving, with artists and experts of all ilks convening as small teams on the stage to debate two sides of an issue. Friday night in the “Underground”, a basement pub with wood and soldiered steel stools and deliberately dark lighting, the assembled clump of fans Street Art and beer gathered around the stage to hear a debate that pitted large murals against small interventions.

Among the sparring, personal insults, laughter, and flashes of Juanes leg’s vexing and tantalizing the crowd beneath his new his new plaid kilt, somehow the female panelists on each team landed some of the strongest arguments. – Alice Pasquini for the small interventions and Jasmine from Herakut presented thoughtful reasoned rationale while the men bandied about jokes referring to size and an inexplicable reference to baby pandas by Evan Pricco turned into a running joke. Ultimately, the “small interventions” team prevailed by the thinnest of margins over large murals in during the final audience vote.

Isaac Cordal (photo © Jaime Rojo)

So the panel discussions, on-stage interviews with artists, kids programs, tours and movie screenings continue today, with us introducing the debut of “Saving Banksy” and Nuart’s James Finucane introducing the 2011 mini-doc about Nuart and it’s early beginnings.

In an exciting development, there are some surprise Street Art pieces going up in the areas that the new formal interventions are going, suggesting that a seeding of the soil is producing local fruit. It is spring after all. Time for a renewal. Slàinte mhath!

Isaac Cordal (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Alice Pasquini. Process shot. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Alice Pasquini at work. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Alice Pasquini at work. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

This Nipper interactive piece provides all the tools a passerby needs to be a Street. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Nipper an aspiring artist plays with interactive piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Nipper (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Nipper (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Herakut. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

At the Fight Club/Pub Debate last night from left to right. Jasmin from Herakut, Pedro Soares Nieves, Sasha Bogojev, Alice Pasquini, Jaune and Evan Prico debating the merits of large murals vs small scale interventions. Pedro’s team argued in favor of murals and Evan’s team argued in favor of small interventions. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

Almost 350 people showed up for the first ever street art tour in Aberdeen battling cold, rain and hail, sun and clowds all at once!. Here they admired the piece by Martin Whatson.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The crowds in front of Fintan Magee’s work in progress. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The crowds in front of M-City’s mural. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

These intrepid art lovers who lasted throughout the entire tour were such troupers and they stood at the last mural by Add Fuel in the background braving the intense cold rain falling on them. (photo © Jaime Rojo)