During our debrief, as we close the books on the Aberdeen Festival this year, we asked Martyn Reed, “As the director and curator of Nuart, how did this year feel to you compared to others? What’s evolving? What’s new?”
We thought it would be appropriate to share his response with you:
“To be honest, it will be some time before I’ve processed everything about Nuart 2023. In a lot of respect, when a Nuart “ends”, it’s very much the beginning for me. So I’ll let it settle, pick up the bills, enjoy the imagery and memories, and hopefully come away with a sense of fulfilment. In saying that, I think anyone involved in previous editions would attest that there was something quite magical about this year. It really felt like we were a community of like-minded souls that we caught and channelled something quite ancient and genuine, and authentically human. Perhaps it was the rewilding theme, this yearning for something more than what the current system offers and how we’re forced to navigate it to put food on the table. I hope we managed to show some alternatives or trigger some thoughts around what this culture genuinely has to offer away from the glitz and the glamour, the novelty and the merch. Over the course of the production, I see deep and genuine friendships emerging, bonds forming that, in some cases, will last a lifetime. Apart from all the wonderful art, a genuinely interested public, the production and partners, and all that goes into a Nuart edition, there are aspects of it that we’ll never know, the friendships and narratives and the seeds of ideas that are planted, new relationships to each other and to the world that are formed, this is the real story and value of what we all collectively create.
There’s an old proverb I read some years ago, I think it was Indian in origin, but I’m sure it spans many cultures, and I’m paraphrasing here, that said something like “The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.”, and it’s this that runs deeply through what we all produced this year and will hopefully continue to produce in our own beautifully rewilded and divergent manner for many years to come.
Nuart Alumni, we salute you!”