This post is the first part of a two part article on Nuart Aberdeen 2019. It contains the Art based images which are more Documentary in nature. The second part will have the candid Street Shots. I’ll pull together all the images and publish them in my Projects section at a later date.
Over the last few years Street Art has been appearing all over Aberdeen, some of it commissioned and some by local artists. As a Street Photographer I’m don’t directly document a piece of Art but as an anchor point or background in an image they can be useful. This year saw the largest number of commissioned artists arriving in the city to paint large public pieces. This was accompanied by the weekend launch festival which coincided with the a Sunny Easter.
Now for some art definitions as I understand them. Graffiti is text based and painted in an opportunistic fashion. Similarly Street art is opportunistic, but is graphic. Public art can be either but is commissioned So the large artworks in the festival are public, the smaller ones done by local artists are street art, this isn’t a critique of validity just a summary. Thats ‘my take on it, please add to the discussion in the comments below.
Over the last couple of years, I’ve tended to steer clear of the start of the week, to conserve my energy to shoot once the artworks are finished. But this year I had a look around Green where I spend the bulk of my time when shooting street photography anyway. I Spoke to Julio Anaya Cabanding (@julio_acab) and @Dotmasters, both artists were happy to talk, which I appreciated, as they were working long hours to complete their projects. It was interesting to see their working methods, and make a connection with the people behind the works I will see for the next few years in the City.
There are numerous articles online about the impact of Public/Street Art on the area and city. Is it valid, or capitalist appropriation of a once underground movement. Personally I think any art in a public space is a good thing. Having observed and interacted with some of the artists last week, I’m in no doubt about the validity and talent of these people. They work long hours outside, producing some large scale art. This provides small moments for citizens to stop and contemplate in their day. Art was originally made in situ by craftsmen, for example in a Church Altarpiece. Painting on canvas allowed portability and moved art closer to commoditisation. Once removed from it’s original context, art loses some of its’ intrinsic power. Public art re-contextualizes it and improves otherwise utilitarian buildings.
Click on the images below to see the slideshow.
All images shot with the Fujifilm X system, As always comments and questions welcome.