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Visitors arriving by air or sea will be welcomed to Granite City by stunning Nuart Aberdeen murals

Acclaimed street artist Hera is set to craft one of the largest murals ever created for Nuart Aberdeen on the walls of the Union Point building which towers above the city’s harbour. 

And Aberdeen’s own KMG will set the street art festival soaring by working on walls at Aberdeen International Airport – meaning visitors will be welcomed at two of the Granite City’s strategic gateways by stunning Nuart murals. 

Aberdeen Inspired unveiled the “beyond exciting” news while announcing some of the city walls and spaces for which they have applied for planning permission, ready to be transformed by 11 artists descending on the Granite City for the world-class street art festival, which will run from June 6 to 9. 

Hera, who as part of duo Herakut created the iconic Nuart mural at the Aberdeen Market, is due to be working on one of the biggest canvases available in the city at the landmark Union Point on Blaikie’s Quay. 

She said she was looking forward to returning to Aberdeen to work on her project.

“In times like these, where we see so many images of destruction it is somewhat ‘healing’ to see something being created,” said Hera, the German-born artist Jasmin Siddiqui.

Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired – which stages Nuart Aberdeen in partnership with Aberdeen City Council and delivered by Reed Projects, hailed the prospect of Hera’s work.

He said: “I think it’s fair to say this news will be welcomed as beyond exciting by so many people, not just here in Aberdeen but further afield. Here we have one of Nuart Aberdeen’s best-loved artists, responsible for a mural synonymous with the festival, transforming a hugely important building at the very heart of the Port Of Aberdeen that can be seen from miles around.

“I cannot wait to see the legacy that Hera will leave for us all to enjoy at the harbour, especially as she is working on the theme of ‘living heritage’. This is the largest mural yet for Nuart Aberdeen and I have no doubt this will be an absolute showstopper, not just for this June, but for many years to come.”

Bob Sanguinetti, chief executive of Port of Aberdeen, shared the enthusiasm over Hera’s work at the harbour’s Union Point.

He said: “We are delighted that Port of Aberdeen will be the backdrop for an amazing Nuart Aberdeen installation. This represents a perfect blend of Aberdeen’s rich maritime heritage and the port’s bright and exciting future. 

“With the increase in cruise tourism, and The Tall Ships Races on the horizon, the installation will capture the imagination of locals and new visitors to the city.”  

News that Hera will work on Union Point was also welcomed by Hamish Munro, Standard Real Estate Director and joint owner of the Union Point building.

He said: “All at the SRE Group are delighted and excited to support Nuart and especially looking forward to seeing the finished work from an iconic artist on a true Aberdeen landmark building.”

Meanwhile, KMG – who created the mural at Union Square on Palmerston Place – will be working on not one, but four walls at Aberdeen International Airport, bringing the space at the car park opposite the terminal’s main building to life.

KMG – or Katie Guthrie – said: “I’m very excited for what I have planned for this particular project as it is going to be one of my most ambitious concepts to date and I’m particularly excited about the location I’ll be working in as I love to work in areas less expected. 

“Growing up and studying in Aberdeen means the city will always be a special place for me to return to paint. I’m proud to have cut my teeth painting on the streets of Aberdeen and so it’s important to me to create something that hopefully Aberdeen will in turn be proud of.”

Adrian said: “This is the first time Nuart Aberdeen has gone outwith the bounds of the city centre, and I cannot think of a better location to prove that the sky is the limit for this festival.

“What better way to declare Aberdeen’s impeccable credentials as one of the country’s leading cities of culture, than to have visitors arriving here being greeted by the outstanding home-grown talent of Katie Guthrie aka KMG?

“With KMG’s work at the airport and Hera’s mural towering over the harbour, it means Nuart Aberdeen will welcome people at our city’s prime gateways, whether they arrive by air or sea.”

Airport bosses are also looking forward to welcoming the rising star of the street art world. 

Robert Paterson, Head of Operations at Aberdeen International Airport said: “We are delighted to be working with Nuart Aberdeen this year as we celebrate our 90th anniversary.

“As the largest transport hub in the North-east, we are looking forward to what could be created.”

A total of 11 acclaimed artists will travel to the Granite City from across Europe, the UK, and the Middle East, to transform walls and spaces with a range of exciting, inspiring and thought-provoking pieces that will leave a lasting legacy for Aberdeen city centre.

These will range from the friendly giant and fun figures of Italian artist, Millo, to photorealistic hands bursting from buildings created by Germany’s Case Maclaim.

Other walls included in today’s planning application include: 

  • Atholl House, to be worked on by Dutch artist Niels Shoe Meulman
  • Ibis Hotel on Shiprow, to be worked on by Case Maclaim
  • Former John Lewis building, to be worked on by English artist Cbloxx
  • Aberdeen Health Village, to be worked on by Millo

Walls and other projects for the remaining artists – Addam Yekutieli (Know Hope), Bahia Shehab, Mahn Kloix, Molly Hankinson and Wasted Rita – will be announced soon. 

Planning permission is being sought for walls at Ivy Lodge, Shiprow; Crimon Place; Brodies, Union Row; Nickel & Dime, Crooked Lane and Upperkirkgate above Milkjug.

Nuart Aberdeen is one of the city’s most popular festivals, attracting thousands of visitors into the heart of the Granite City, increasing footfall and giving a welcome boost to local business, ranging from restaurants to bars, shops to other attractions. 

Councillor Martin Greig, culture spokesperson for Aberdeen City Council, said: “It’s great to welcome Nuart back into the city. 

“The artists create splendid designs that add so much colour and variety to local streets. Their imaginative images give a lot of pleasure and can really lift the spirits.”

To find out more about Nuart Aberdeen visit here