Murals of the Nuart Aberdeen Street Art Festival 2022

A number of new street art murals have been created as part of the Nuart Aberdeen Festival 2022. Street artists from across the world have converged on the Scottish city to create 10 new murals. All adding to the already impressive array of street art in the city.

Jacoba Niepoort painting her wall using a roller from a crane

It has been a welcome return to Aberdeen by Nuart who have been curating street art here since 2017. The years of the pandemic did see more street art created though not with the crowds. But now they’ve all returned. Aberdonians finally able to enjoy the art as it was intended.

Slim Safont’s mural features a young girl writing lines

Already the year has seen some change to street art in Aberdeen. Some long standing murals created between 2017 and 2021 have disappeared with the demolition of the old market and other buildings. Now though new pieces have taken their place albeit across different locations. Street art is, after all, ephemeral.

Striking image from Nuno Viegas. The work is a companion piece to his mural in Stavanger
Collages made as part of workshops led by Miss Printed and then placed on the streets.

Murals of Nuart Aberdeen 2022

Elisa Capdevila (Spain) – Wapping Street

Barcelona based Elisa Capdevila’s mural is a bright area of light amongst the decay of a now derelict building on Wapping Street. Inside builders were working to extract rubble from the interior of the site. A yellow tube sittung against the exterior channeling the debris as it crashed down with regular thuds into the skips below. Painting high on the building Elisa’s work is quite a contrast. A woman laying with her head looking out of a window. A lazy bright morning is promised by the way the light streams in. It’s a contrast and it’s meant to be.

The use of a window takes it’s inspiration from the many other windows laid out in lines across the rest of the building. It’s a mural which imagines a different kind of life for the building. The woman could well be staring out from inside that derelict shell. In a different life perhaps one of the windows we see from the outside could well house the scene we see today.

Looking out onto a different view
Portrait of Spanish street artist Elisa Capdevila by a mural in Aberdeen
Elisa Capdevila is a muralist from Spain

Erin Holly (UK) – Union Grove

An artist inspired by architecture and architectural lines. Erin Holly’s mural shows the interior of a bathroom from above. Approaching the wall viewers gaze into a space that is so familiar yet perhaps not what is expected on the street. The image itself is taken from an 80’s lifestyle magazine. Here the message was one of aspiration. Something to work towards but which at the same time might only be the start of that journey of acquisition. After the perfect bathroom, what about the kitchen and how about the front room?

Street artist Erin Holly sits on her niftylift about to paint a mural for Nuart Aberdeen 2022
Erin’s ponders on her music playlist prior to going back up in the lift to finish the mural

Erin’s work plays with ideas that go behind what is on the surface a bathroom interior. To get to that point the design itself would have taken many people, as would the build. What ideas and conversations led to it’s construction? For the person desiring the space, they too would be placing their view on how this space might indeed make their lives better. There’s a lot going on from a seemingly simple image but of course at it’s surface level it’s “just a picture of a bathroom” says Erin. “Which I like”.

Completed mural by Erin Holly. It can be found on Union Grove
Photographic inspiration against the soon to be end result

Jacoba Niepoort (Denmark) – Justice Mill Lane

Jacoba is an artist whose work will often blend into the environment around her. Using subtle tones her work compliments the buildings becoming part of the fabric of the wall. Painted for Nuart Aberdeen her 2022 mural plays on the theme of connectedness. It shows three intertwining bodies, all naked but eager for connection. Gone are the encumbrances of clothes and face masks. The forced separation of the past few years resulting resulting in this physical release of touch.

Portrait of Danish street artist Jacoba Niepoort who was in Aberdeen for the Nuart Festival 2022
Jacoba Niepoort by her almost completed mural

Painting in Aberdeen her work can be found on Justice Mill Lane. Working in a space between two buildings she needed two separate cherry pickers just to be able to reach certain sections of the wall. The location a little more additionally tricky due to the glass fronted nature of the building behind. For nine hours a day it cast a reflective gaze onto the mural. Painting using only subtle shades it became hard to see. Her practice involving the use of a roller which would slowly build the texture and detail that we see from afar.

Three bodies interwine, together after years of separation enjoying the connectness of the moment. The mural can be found on Justice Mill Lane

For Jacoba the story is important but so is the interaction of the public. The stories that she tells might have a different meaning in the eye of the viewer. Important that the work is accessible and that people would choose to stop and ponder. “There’s so much value in creating little pockets of something that adds to the everyday person” says Jacoba. “Even if it’s just around the corner and especially in a city setting. There is a tendency to walk fast through spaces and not have a strong emotional connection to it. I like to have these moments where you can stump up and be surprised”.

Jacoba Niepoort using a roller from a cherry picker to add texture to the mural

James Klinge (Scotland) – Virginia Street

Battling with the elements, James Klinge’s giant piece towers on the side of the Ibis Hotel. Overlooking the harbour on Virginia Street, the road is a wind tunnel. Stencils flapping in the breeze whilst trying to attach them to the wall. In total the giant mural is designed in seven layers. An enormous feat not only when placing them on the building but cutting them in preparation for it. Just getting ready for the festival took three full weeks of cutting paper.

Completed mural by James Klinge. It shows a woman with a finger to her lips.

Klinge is an artist known for his stencil work. His studio practice combining the stencil with spray paint that he then somehow moves about on the canvas with a palette knife. The end result a kind of semi-figurative image which looks like an oil painting. His wall on the side of the Ibis features his wife as she puts a finger to her lips. The concept is one of quiet. Here on the side of the hotel she reminds passers by to be considerate, there’s people sleeping inside after all. It’s no mean feat considering that the road the mural overlooks shudders regularly with articulate lorries. The noise at times deafening to those either walking along or looking out from the hotel.

James Klinge is a Scottish artist based in Glasgow
The building from across the street

Jofre Oliveras (Spain) – Frederick Street

A man stands on rock, he is holding a white flag though the wind has blown it across his face. The mural for Nuart Aberdeen 2022 is a commentary on nationalism. How it can obscure the vision and how borders are being increasingly re-enforced. It prevents cultural exchange says Jofre and abolishes the perception of everything that does not fall within that region.

Jofre Olivera by his completed mural

The man standing atop of the rock seems alone. The name of the piece hints that this is his ground. ‘The man owns the stone’ is the title. He is atop his kingdom though can’t see beyond and the space is small. “Isolation worsens and it is more difficult to realise the critical situation that we are facing globally” says Jofre. “Be it due to the depletion of resources, the migration crisis or climate change”.

The Man Owns the Stone by Jofre Olivera on the side of a car park on Frederick Street
Oliveras was the first artist to complete

Martin Whatson (Norway) – Virginia Street

The second time Martin Whatson has painted at Nuart Aberdeen. His first piece in 2017 was actually the first ever mural to go up as part of the cities festival. That has since gone but his latest piece still plays on the same ideas of history both personally and within the city. Whatson’s work is a combination of techniques, the graffiti imagery working with stencil. His mural for this years festival showing a man sitting atop a block of granite. Except the space that would have been occupied by the rock is now filled with colour and tags.

Portrait of artist Martin Whatson at his mural for Nuart Aberdeen 2022
Martin Whatson by his completed murall

It speaks to Aberdeen’s history and all around it’s impossible to miss the influence granite has had. Moving into now and the city is re-inventing itself as a cultural hub. Street art which has it’s roots in graffiti is a core part of that with people now beginning to look at the architecture in a way that is able to look past the stone. Whatson’s piece brings it together whether intentionally or not.

Martin Whatson completed mural for Nuart Aberdeen 2022
Mural by Martin Whatson in Aberdeen

Miss.Printed (Norway/Holland) – Various Locations

A Norwegian based street Dutch street artist, Miss Printed works in collage which she then places in locations on the street. Her work intended to create little mini worlds that her creations can inhabit. Often carrying little artworks around with her she has one eye on the environment around her. Always looking for a home to place her work. In Aberdeen for Nuart 2022 her small pieces were been placed across the city. Some lasting longer than others they will either eventually decay or be taken. Their life cycle really dependent on their placement.

A child sits on a shopping trolley. Work by Miss Printed

Miss Printed’s work will often play with themes such as climate, pollution and war. She’s also interested in the removal of habitat and the decline of breeding birds. By far the main reason she creates the work however is for people to smile. It was this reason that prompted the artist to start creating collages in the first place. Finding herself unable to travel and in a different country she had wanted to find a way to support a friend who had lost a loved one. Not being able to be there in person she started to create collages on postcards, sending one a week. The idea was to bring a bit of joy in a dark time. Over the years it continued and now her interventions follow wherever she goes.

Love Aberdeen a collage by Miss Printed. Photo courtesy of Miss Printed
A woman holds a bee. Work by Miss Printed on location in Aberdeen

Mohamed L’Ghacham (Morocco / Spain) – Lime Street

Born in Tangier but raised in Spain. Mohamed L’Ghacham started out painting graffiti prior to developing an interest in classical painters and their work. Generally speaking now it is the latter which can be seen coming through his style. Evolving itself through an interest in the everyday and in particular of old photographs. Images that he will find online sometimes buying bundles of old photos. Scenes of life that have even been forgotten about by their original owners.

Mohamed L’Ghachan by his finished mural on Lime Street

In Aberdeen this is what he has created. Positioned a little further out of town on Lime Street. His piece fronts a car park near to the harbour. “I just like to bring everyday scenes in the street” he told Inspiring City. This idea of the average and the normal all being at the heart of the story that he as an artist wants to tell. Here high on a building in Aberdeen, this is what he has chosen to celebrate.

A family scene taken from an old photograph. Mohamed is inspired by everyday scenes and photographs
On Lime Street the mural is a little further out of town

Nuno Viegas (Portugal) – Gerrard Street

Portuguese artist Nuno Viegas is an artist heavily influenced by his graffiti background. Often combining a variant of his tag ‘Metis’ with other sub culture inspired imagery. In Aberdeen he has done just this. A vibrant yellow background frames a floating mask and headscarf. The background itself is actually a giant throw up and spells his name. The mask, reminiscent of needing to cover your face when sneaking into places you shouldn’t.

The Queen of Hearts. What’s the point of being a King if you don’t have a good heart

The mask itself is decorated with playing card imagery. In particular the queen of hearts which has meaning. A companion piece showing the king of hearts was painted in Stavanger for the Nuart Festival over in Norway. That mural again plays with graffiti meaning. The idea of a ‘king’ being someone who self-proclaims themselves to be the best. Though, says Nuno, “what’s the point of being a king if you don’t have a good heart”. Taken together the two murals work together. The King in Stavanger and the Queen in Aberdeen for the twin cities across the North Sea.

Metis is what Nuno Viegas writes. The throw up style of this tag is in the background of his mural in Aberdeen
Nuno Viegas work pays tribute to graffiti culture

Pejac (Spain) – Citizen Advice Bureau, Union Street

Placement is key for Pejac. Getting the right context, the right medium and the place for an artwork. His work in Aberdeen is subtle, an oil painting on the street or at least the pavement. Called ‘Welcome’ He has created a crowd dispersing. Lots of little people initially forming the word except the people disperse and so each letter becomes less prominent. Painted on the floor using car paint it is says Pejac “more than just a doormat on a Scottish doorstep”.

Welcome by Pejac on a doorstep on Union Street

Painting on the street quite literally this is a piece about displacement and identity. The welcome mat is a familiar item. You step on it to get to the threshold of a house, wiping your feet. In this case the mat is made of people and so the metaphor is clear. You are literally stepping on the masses. These people perhaps themselves are outstaying the welcome that they once offered. Nationalism. Such an issue in many countries not least the UK. The welcome gets less clear as the crowd disperses.

The welcome gets less clear

Look closely and the artwork is full of detail. Many individuals doing their own thing. “This intervention brings together an increasingly large demographic of people who stand for all that surrounds the ‘welcome’ concept”. It’s a meaning he says that has been increasingly hard to find. As such it’s an artwork that has been created for all who feel themselves marginalised, foreign and discriminated against”.

The artwork is made up of many tiny individuals

Slim Safont (Spain) – Union Row

From Barcelona, Nuart is Slim Safont’s first visit to the UK. His work on Union Row towering over the surrounding streets in an areas already rich with street art murals. The piece shows a young girl stood on top of a chair. Called ‘Punishment’ it shows a young girl. Wearing pigtails she looks with a mild frown towards the camera. In the background a chalkboard with lines spelling ‘I will pay my taxes’.

Slim Safont in front of his mural on Union Row

It’s a commentary on the indoctrination of society and how it all begins at an early age. The subject a real pupil at a school in Navas, Spain where Slim’s mother works as a teacher. Writing lines of course is a common punishment and this is where the title comes from. An intervention designed to keep a specific action in mind such as, for example, the need to pay your taxes.

‘Punishment’ a mural by Slim Safont
A sense of scale for Slim Safont’s huge wall

Nuart Aberdeen 2022 Murals Map


Nuart Aberdeen Video


Nuart Aberdeen took place over the weekend of 9-12 June 2022. All images taken during this post were taken over the weekend of the festival.

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6 Comments

  1. enjoyed reading this and learning what all the art meant to each artist, i especially liked the one in Gerarrd Street by Nuno Viegas

    1. Thanks Diane yes they’ve all got some fantastic stories attached to them. I like the Nuno Viegas one too, I love the connection to Stavanger and the graffiti lore

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