Historic archives bring Aberdeen to life for Nuart artist


Aberdeen’s historic archives have brought the city to life for a renowned contemporary artist who will take part in an award-winning street art festival later this year.


Carrie Reichardt, the first confirmed artist for the Nuart Aberdeen festival, paid a visit to the Granite City this week to to explore Aberdeen City Council’s archives.


The festival, which is delivered by business organisation Aberdeen Inspired in partnership with Nuart Festival and Aberdeen City Council, will take place from Thursday, 12 April to Sunday, April 15.


Sponsored by Burness Paull and Aberdeen Standard Investments, it is fast becoming one of Aberdeen’s most anticipated festivals. Its second year will once again see a team of international, national and local artists develop their latest works on walls around the city centre.


Aberdeen City Council holds some of the oldest and most complete set of records of any Scottish urban settlement, which have been recognised by UNESCO for their outstanding historical importance to the UK.


Carrie spent Monday and Tuesday this week searching through the archives at the Town House to find out more about the city’s heritage and pick out images which could be developed in to a Nuart piece.


A self-titled ‘craftivist,’ Carrie has been involved in community and public art projects for more than 15 years, designing and consulting on large-scale mosaic murals in various local communities with powerful messaging.


She is currently artist-in-residence at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon and is already preparing for Nuart Aberdeen 2018.


Carrie said: “This is my first visit to Aberdeen and it’s been great to see the city and a fantastic opportunity to explore the archives to find out more about its rich heritage.

“There’s a wealth of material in the archives to work from which has been great. I concentrated on themes relating to witchcraft and the suffragettes and I am looking forward to bringing it to life visually during the Nuart Aberdeen festival.”

Held in the Norwegian city of Stavanger since 2001 and widely regarded as the world’s leading celebration of street art, Nuart Aberdeen was the first overseas version of the festival when it was first held in 2017.


The festival won four awards last year, including the UK Association of Town and City Management’s Innovation Award, the Visit Scotland Award for Tourism.


It also won the place management BID award at the 2017 National Business Improvement District (BID) Awards and was also the signature piece Aberdeen Inspired’s winning entry to secure the 2017 European BID of the Year win in July.


Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired said: “We are proud to lead on Nuart Aberdeen for a second year. The festival’s debut last year sparked the imagination of both residents and visitors alike and we are delighted to welcome Carrie Reichardt to the city as part of her Nuart preparations.


“Our city archives are host to some valuable and interesting aspects of Aberdeen’s history and it’s great to hear they’ve provided inspiration for Carrie to develop her plans for the festival.


“Nuart proved to be hugely successful last year and we hope to build on that success to help market Aberdeen as a destination of choice to visitors from the rest of the country and beyond.


“We are also very grateful for the valued support of our head sponsors, their impressive reputations in the business world speaks for itself and illustrates a confidence in what Nuart Aberdeen has and can further achieve in the years to come.”


Councillor Marie Boulton, Aberdeen City Council Culture spokesperson said: “Following the success of SPECTRA, Aberdeen’s Festival of Light, we are delighted to be working with Aberdeen Inspired to bring Nuart back to the City Centre.


“As part of our Aberdeen Events 365 Strategy through our City Centre Masterplan, Aberdeen City Council is committed to making our city an even more vibrant place to live, work and visit – and outdoor art exhibitions such as Nuart and SPECTRA encourage people into the city centre at a quieter time of year, boosting the local economy and reactivating city centre spaces.


“As Scotland, and Aberdeen’s reputation as a tourist destination continues to develop, attractions such as these play a pivotal role in the cultural offering that attracts visitors.”


For more information about Nuart Aberdeen 2018, please visit: www.nuartaberdeen.co.uk