Banksy ‘coup’ for Aberdeen street art festival

It forms a double bill at the Lemon Tree, with internationally acclaimed street artist  Hera in a rare “in conversation” about her work around the world.

Martyn Reed, curator of Nuart Aberdeen, expects a huge amount of interest in the “Hera X Banksy” double bill.

He said: “To be the first with anything to do with Banksy these days, particularly outside of huge international media and PR channels is unheard of, so in that sense it’s very much a coup.

READ MORE: Rare Banksy artwork to go under the hammer in Glasgow

In memory of the victims of the terrorist attack on the Bataclan concert hall in Paris in 2015, Banksy covered a door of the building with a stencil which became known as “The Sad Girl”.

The artwork was brazenly stolen in the dead of night… but who stole it and why – and will it ever be found? These are themes explored in “Banksy And The Stolen Girl”, a French documentary directed by Edoardo Anselmi.

Martyn added: “ It’s a fascinating documentary about a very special work, unlike anything I’ve seen before. There’s also been a recent development in the case, so as an added bonus, not only is it a UK premiere, it may have a new ending.

“If you’re interested in anything to do with this artist, his work, street art or true crime documentaries, then it’s probably something for you.”

Hera (Jasmin Siddiqi) will also be in conversation with critic Carlo McCormick. As part of duo Herakut, Hera created the iconic Nuart mural on the Aberdeen Market building and will soon be working on the towering Union Point at the harbour.

The Herald: Nuart Aberdeen returns on June 6-9 2024Nuart Aberdeen returns on June 6-9 2024 (Image: Nuart Aberdeen)

Martyn said: “She’s a fascinating character with wonderful stories and a rich history in the culture, it’s rare to secure such an up close and personal insight into her work. Carlo McCormick is a certified legend in urban art , a friend to the stars of the New York art scene such as Haring, Basquiat and many others, so this will be an event to remember.

“It’s an absolute joy and privilege to be able to work with such names and have them programmed together in this way is really unique to Aberdeen.”

Nuart Plus is the umbrella term for Nuart Aberdeen activities outside of the physical art production which will see 11 internationally acclaimed artists arriving in the Granite City to transform walls and spaces across Aberdeen.

The conference which will be held at the Cowdray Hall,  includes artist presentations, panel debates, workshops, education programmes, film screenings, plus an international research programme and peer-reviewed journal.

Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, which partners with Aberdeen City Council to bring Nuart Aberdeen to the city, said Nuart Plus is a “vital” strand of the street art festival, creating a platform for some of the world’s leading street artists, academics, authors, researchers and curators to come together to explore issues around new art and activity in public spaces.

READ MORE: Banksy Cut & Run: A look back at the highlights and famous faces from Glasgow show

He said: “Nuart Aberdeen now has an unrivalled reputation as one of the best street-art festivals in the world. Nuart Plus is very much part of that, establishing Aberdeen as a leading city for not just producing world-class street art, but also attracting some of the best international practitioners and experts to an unparalleled forum to exchange their ideas and visions.”

Councillor Martin Greig, culture spokesperson for Aberdeen City Council, said: “The premiere of the Banksy documentary and the conversation with Hera are just two examples of how as a city we’re growing the Nuart festival. In addition to transforming the streetscape, we’re stimulating conversations about art and its place in the cultural landscape. Nuart really does have something for everyone.”

Nuart Plus will include discussions around this year’s theme for Nuart Aberdeen, Living Heritage and Intangible Cultural Heritage.

It will also include events such as a “pub debate” at SPIN on Littlejohn  Street on Friday, June 7, on the theme “Is Street Art More Important Than The Museum” – with DJs, music and dancing to follow.

SPIN will also host a closing party on Saturday, June 8, with a night of underground electronic music.

Also in the mix will be Inspired Nights, turning Shiprow into an al fresco hub for the festival with food, drink and entertainment, walking tours taking in the new works, plus local children taking part in Chalk Don’t Chalk, transforming Marischal Square’s Quad with a floor-based chalk mural.

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