Program at a glance

Nuart Plus International Street Art Symposium 2023


All events are free unless otherwise stated.


If you are interested in attending , it is recommended that you reserve your spot by following the relevant links. By reserving now, you are guaranteed a place and can have peace of mind knowing you are all set. Nevertheless, a ticket is not required to attend, and we’ll make every effort to squeeze you in. We hope to see you there.


Nuart Plus is an umbrella term for Nuart’s activities outside of physical art production. It consists of an international research program, a peer reviewed journal and other publications, artist presentations, panel debates, workshops, education programs, film screenings and more. The Plus-series aims to explore and present issues surrounding contemporary street art practice in all its guises, through both entertaining and educational projects and programs. It features contributions from some of the world’s leading street artists alongside academics, authors, researchers, curators, producers, writers and other cultural-sector professionals who are dedicated to exploring issues surrounding new forms of art and activity in public space.

Thursday 8 June

Nuart Plus Kick-Off

19:00-20:30, free entry

Aberdeen Art Gallery, Cowdray Hall, Schoolhill, AB10 1JQ


Night at the Museum:

Carlo McCormick in conversation with Swoon.


To launch the festival, join us for a Night at the Museum on June 8th with world-renowned festival artist Swoon in conversation with cultural critic Carlo McCormick. Caledonia Curry, aka Swoon, is a Brooklyn-based artist and the first woman to gain large-scale recognition in the male-dominated world of street art. Drawing on both realistic and fantastical elements, she has been transforming the world with her immersive installations, wheatpaste portraits, and community-based social justice projects for over two decades, and more recently, through film and animation. While her work has adorned the walls of more classical institutions—including New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, and the Tate Modern—Curry’s overarching aim is always to create accessible art that transports audiences while simultaneously shedding light on pressing social and environmental issues.


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Friday 9 June

Nuart Plus Street Art Conference


11:00–17:00, free entry

Aberdeen Art Gallery, Cowdray Hall, Schoolhill, AB10 1JQ


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On Day 1 of Nuart Aberdeen’s Street Art Conference, we address the nexus between trespass and rewilding. Together, we will explore the irresistible lure vacant spaces represent for street artists and graffiti writers (Erik Hannerz); the street art and graffiti painted during outdoor raves and parties (Dr Lucy Finchett-Maddock); and the ways in which we might subvert the ‘filtering’ of art on the streets by media entities once removed from its conditions of production (with Evan Pricco). In the evening, we will take on some of these issues in a less formal setting, at Nuart Aberdeen’s Fight Club at Spin.


Welcome and Introduction + Nuart Journal TRESPASS Launch
By Susan Hansen (AU)


Join us for the exclusive launch of Issue 7 of Nuart Journal. Nuart Journal was first published in 2018 to widespread critical acclaim. Professor Jeff Ferrell, from Texas Christian University has called Nuart Journal ‘the most exciting mix of political, visual, and intellectual energy I’ve seen in a long time!’ This issue explores the socio-political, legal, geographical, cultural and economic determinants of what constitutes trespass and transgression in street art cultures.
Our TRESPASS issue contains 12 original articles. The journal will be on sale at the launch and throughout the festival period.


Bass, Slate and Spray Paint: On the Edge of, and within, Trespass
Keynote Presentation by Dr Lucy Finchett-Maddock


In her keynote address for the symposium, artist and academic Dr Lucy Finchett-Maddock explores the theme of rewilding through her voyage through the street art and graffiti made at sites of free parties and illegal raves. As she explains, these are environments that exist somewhere between the rustic and the civic, the rural and the urban – what we might call the ‘peri-urban’ – “where the city meets its bounds, the suburbs languish into the hedgerows, and the wilderness begins.” Through her photographs of the street art and graffiti painted during outdoor raves and parties, Lucy brings the sonic surfaces of these former rave sites back to vivid life, as urban-rural time-capsules.


Panel: Fostering the ‘Wildness’ of Street Art
Stencibility (Kadri Lind and Sirla) with Kairo & David McCracken


Stencibility occupy a rare-to-find middle ground between illegal street art and mural festivals. Stencibility Directors Kadri Lind and Sirla aim is to mimic how street artists work in the wild, but in the context of a festival. In this session, they discuss their grassroots working processes, alongside artist Kairo and David McCracken from Peacock Visual Arts, Aberdeen.


12:45–13:45 — Lunch Break


The Pretty Vacant: Exploring Absence in Subcultural Graffiti
Presentation by Dr Erik Hannerz (SE)


Sociology academic Erik Hannerz specialises in the study of subcultural play and urban creativity as ways to “think outside the grid” which can reconnect us to the city as a place brimming with creative possibilities. In his talk for Nuart Plus, “The Pretty Vacant”, Erik will explore our “persistent affection for the vacant and unfilled” through a discussion of presence and absence as interrelated forces in our cityscape that shape the production and erasure of the work that thrives and fades on the walls of our cities.


Panel: Trespass and Rewilding
Erik Hannerz, Dr Lucy Finchett-Maddock & Carlo McCormick


Festival Director Martyn Reed’s initial inspiration for the Festival theme of Rewilding came from Nick Hayes “The Book of Trespass” which reveals a long story of enclosure, gifting of land, exploitation and dispossession of public rights and the commons. Reed sees obvious parallels here with street art and graffiti and their relationship to property rights but also urban art’s ‘trespass’ into conventional fields such as public art and the art establishment.




Panel: No Filter
Evan Pricco, Giulia ‘BLocal’ Riva, Stuart Holdsworth, Tim Marschang, TK Mills


How is street art culture “filtered” once removed from curating/producing/creating the work? Does the desire for eye candy threaten to create a monoculture? Is this relationship symbiotic or ultimately parasitic? How can we best serve new developments in the culture if all we’re exposed to are tower block murals? This panel brings together those who report on and represent art on the streets – from bloggers, to high end ad driven media, to commercial entities.


Fight Club aka the Pub Debate
21:00–23:00, Free entry
SPIN, 10 Littlejohn St, Aberdeen AB10 1FG
Followed by music, doors open until 1am


For anyone who’s ever been to a conference and felt bored to distraction. For anyone who ever felt too inhibited to put their hand up during a Q&A. For anyone with an opinion about power structures in public space but without a platform to voice them. Fight Club is for you.


Inspired by the original Greek Symposia where debates took place fuelled by copious amounts of wine, what Dumas called ‘the intellectual part of the meal.’ Nuart introduce a current hot topic in Street Art culture to be debated by two opposing teams made up of guest artists, academics and arts industry professionals.

The audience are encouraged to participate and settle the score at the end of the discussion by voting for the winning team. We round off the night with a vinyl only set from guest DJs to allow the losers to dance their blues away.

Saturday 10 June

Nuart Plus Street Art Conference



11:00–17:00, free entry

Aberdeen Art Gallery, Cowdray Hall, Schoolhill, AB10 1JQ


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On Day 2 of our Street Art Conference, Festival artist Jamie Reid will rewild and reconnect us to a shared and more ancient kinaesthesic bond with the natural world; bestselling author Stephen Ellcock will rewild our psychic landscape; and audiences will have the opportunity to meet some of Nuart Aberdeen’s festival artists. Throughout the day we will explore the ways that we could, in practice, rewild our cities (with Charlotte Pyatt).


Welcome and introduction
by Dr Susan Hansen (AU/UK)


The Power of the Ova: Jamie Reid’s Heligan project
Jamie Reid & John Marchant in conversation


Festival artist Jamie Reid joins gallerist John Marchant in conversation to discuss Jamie’s Heligan project. Reid is best known for his subversive genre-defining visual work with the Sex Pistols, but for the Heligan project, he worked with 11 rural acres to etch an immense geometric symbol into the land – creating a sensory experience alive with the buzz of the bees drawn by the sea of wildflowers he seeded within the design. Jamie Reid says of this monumental work that, “The OVA symbol represents rebirth and growth and healing and encompasses the points of the 8-fold year, the solstices and equinoxes.” This is landart that rewilds and reconnects us to a shared and more ancient kinaesthesic bond with the earth, nature and the passage of the seasons.


Signs and Wonders: The Cosmic Dance and Finding a Place in Space
Keynote Presentation by Stephen Ellcock


The Tate Modern refer to bestselling writer and curator Stephen Ellcock as an “itinerant image-scavenging art-fugitive.” Nuart Plus speaker Ellcock describes his ever-expanding, virtual museums on Facebook and Instagram as the “ultimate cabinet of curiosities.” Through his work, Ellcock rewilds our psychic landscape, via extraordinary collections of lost images that together create what the New Statesman calls, “a phantasmagorical national dreamscape full of strange insights and juxtapositions and bristling with dark magic.”


12:40–13:30 — BREAK


Live, Laugh, Lower Your Expectations
Presentation by Harriet Richardson

At the 2019 Youth for Climate strike, award winning artist and designer Harriet Richardson’s protest slogans went viral, leading to what she calls her “15 minutes of meme-fame.” Her slogans included “I don’t want to live on Mars with Elon Musk”, “I should be at work” and “I can’t swim”. A video of Harriet marching through the city with the sign “Leonardo DiCaprio’s Girlfriends Deserve a Future” (referencing DiCaprio’s reluctance to date women over 25) rapidly went viral on Twitter, attracting 2.5 million views. This foundational experience gave Harriet an insight into the impact of wordplay in well-executed art and design, a combination that she continues to develop via prints and posters that respond powerfully to local and global issues.


Artist Talk

Aida Wilde


Festival artist Aida Wilde also works with powerful slogans. Wilde’s installations have featured on city streets around the world and respond to issues including gentrification, education and equality. Her HASHTAG series with Brandalism in Paris was created in response to the COP21 Summit, and she participated in the global project Subvert The City, the world’s first coordinated international ad takeover.  Aida has been an active artist within London’s Hackney Wick community for 14 years, where she creates works responsive to the dramatic changes in the area.


14:30-14:45 BREAK


Rewilding in Practice
Charlotte Pyatt, Bjørn Van Poucke, Arne Vilhelm Tellefsen, Tim Horrox, Adrian Burnham


This panel brings together a range of local, national and international cultural producers to discuss how we can collectively rewild our practice to create, scatter and plant seeds for social and environmental change across the city.


Meet the Artists Panel


On Saturday 10th June, the city’s first street art tours for the festival will culminate at Aberdeen’s Art Gallery, where Nuart Plus will feature a live panel with selected festival artists, offering audiences the unique opportunity to meet the artists behind the freshly created work on the walls of the granite city. Local, national and international artists joining us include KMG (SC), Snik (UK), Eloise Gillow (UK/ES) and Tamara Alves (PT).


Closing Party: F*ck Art, Let’s Dance
21:00–01:00. Doors open at 9, Vinyl DJ playing from 10 – 1
Spin, 10 Littlejohn St, Aberdeen AB10 1FG


Before Nuart, there was the now legendary electronic music festival – and big brother to Nuart – Numusic Festival. An annual festival of underground electronic music established in 2000, that over its 15 years of existence hosted many of the world’s leading acts and emerging names in global club culture. FALD Aberdeen edition will be a more downbeat affair than its usual hands in air mayhem, but still, a place to let your hair down on a Saturday night and join us on the dancefloor.


A 4 hour vinyl only set of classic deep house from FALD & Nuart founder DJ Martyn Reed and guests. Now more known for his stewardship of the world-renowned street art brand Nuart, FALD is something of a throwback to his earlier days as a DJ and founder of the legendary Numusic Festival, one of the world’s first festivals dedicated to providing a platform for electronic music, an event that challenged the idea that this burgeoning new subculture was simply drug fuelled weekend escapism responding to the pressures of modern life. Which it was, and hopefully still is, but like most things, scratch the surface, and you’ll find, much like “street art” is so much more.

Saturday 10 & Sunday 11 June

Street Art Walking Tours

Saturday 10 | 13:30 / 14:30 / 15:30
Sunday 11 | 14:00 / 15:00
Departure point: Marischal College, Quadrangle, Broad Street, AB10 1BL


Join us for this year’s exciting debut series of tours taking in the new works and hosted by members of the Nuart team.


Sign-up for the opening weekend tour.



Chalk Don’t Chalk
Saturday & Sunday 11:00–15:00, For kids aged 3–99, free
Marischal College, Quadrangle, Broad Street, AB10 1BL


The 2023 edition of Chalk Don’t Chalk could produce the world’s largest single chalk drawing when potentially thousands of children descend on Marischal Square to rewild the quad under the watchful and encouraging eye of artist KMG. The gigantic floor-based mural is sure to inject a pop of colour in the Granite City.

This is the third time Nuart Aberdeen hosts the event, and this year’s installation will be larger and more ambitious than ever. Led by street artist KMG, the goal is to create one of the biggest chalk murals in the world.

The Scottish artist will begin work on the mural in the run-up to the festival, while all children will be welcome to participate on June 10 and 11. KMG previously created a mural on the side of Union Square in 2021.

“I’m looking forward to working with some local kids to create out biggest ever Chalk Don’t Chalk installation. Unleashing the kids’ creativity to create their own characters and collaborating together to rewild Marischal College armed with chalk and our imaginations,” KMG told The Press & Journal in May.

In addition to joining in on creating the chalk installation, there will also be face painting, glitter tattoos and more.

2021 — Design by Studio Bergini — Code by Tortuga Labs