Nov 082017
 

By Duncan Harley.

Freedom of speech is a fragile thing. Often hard won, it can be taken away at the stroke of a pen as an Aberdeenshire head teacher found to his cost in 1940.
Various Emergency Powers (Defence) Acts came into force in the early months of WW2.

Some, such as Defence Regulation 18B, provided a framework for internment of enemy aliens while others, like the Emergency Powers (Defence) Act 1939, gave the State wide-ranging powers to prosecute the war.

Aspects of life in the UK came under State control including the “apprehension, trial and punishment of persons offending against the Regulations.” In short, anyone suspected of acting against the national interest in any way whatsoever might suffer the indignity of a pre-dawn knock at the door.

The village of Oyne was of course quite distant from the battlefields. It had narrowly escaped being bombed by a German Zeppelin in a previous conflict but in the big scheme of things Oyne was not a front-line target. Nor was it a hotbed of pro-Nazi sympathy.

This was 1940 however and a paranoid nation was smarting from the military defeat in France. Invasion loomed and an aerial bombing campaign had begun. Towns across the North east had been attacked and coastal shipping had been sunk by German planes off both Stonehaven and Peterhead.

The newspapers of the time are filled with reports of arrests for the offence of “Careless Talk.” A meter reader from Oxford was detained after alleging “we should be just as well under the Nazi’s as we are now!” A Dorset policeman was jailed for expressing similar sentiments and a Peterhead plumber was fined £5 for “careless talk on the phone.”

Headmasters appear to have been at particular risk of prosecution. Overheard warning pupils that following imminent invasion they would have to resort to eating cats and dogs, a Lanarkshire headmaster found himself before a Hamilton Magistrate and at Oyne, George Hendry the local Primary School Headmaster, received the dreaded knock on the door in the late afternoon of June 24th.

The unwelcome visitor was Detective Inspector McHardy of Aberdeen City Police and, after suitable interrogation, Hendry was arrested on matters relating to the Defence Regulations. Lurid headlines followed and public interest was aroused.

Initially there was just the one charge. This related to statements made in the Union Street grocer’s shop of Andrew Collie & Co. Witnesses alleged that Mr Hendry expressed the view that Neville Chamberlain had sold the country down the river and should be placed against a wall and shot. The King, he said, was off to Canada leaving the country “Holding the baby” and Hitler seemingly had sufficient Torpedo Boats to sink the entire British Navy.

Oyne Primary School.

Following arrest, Hendry was released on bail of £60. On Monday July 15th the curious of Aberdeenshire queued to witness what promised to be a juicy trial at Aberdeen Sheriff Court.

Mr Hendry by now faced four charges – the police had been busy.

Alongside remarks about the King and Hitler’s naval prowess, there were allegations of him spreading alarm by remarking on Britain’s unpreparedness for war.

One prosecution witness termed Hendry a fifth columnist and had ordered him out of her shop but under cross-examination admitted she had in fact been joking and considered him simply a leg-puller. Another witness told the court she had discussed the war with him on several occasions and that despite their differences, there was no bad blood between them.

Finally, the case against the Oyne headmaster boiled down to one very simple issue: the spreading of defeatist talk. In a fine piece of courtroom theatre, Mr Blades for the defence lured the manager of Collie’s grocer shop into admitting that the case would never even have been brought had he himself not spread gossip about Mr Hendry’s statements to a crowd, including a policeman, at the public bar of the Royal Athenaeum.

Sheriff Dallas had clearly heard quite enough. A verdict of Not Proven on all four charges was greeted with applause from the crowded courtroom.

George Hendry, a graduate of Aberdeen University, became Headmaster at Oyne in 1927 having previously taught in Forres.  After the trial he returned to his post until his retiral, due to ill health, in 1963. He died in 1966 age just 63.

Duncan Harley is a writer living in the Garioch and author of the soon to be published A-Z of Curious Aberdeenshire: https://www.thehistorypress.co.uk/publication/the-a-z-of-curious-aberdeenshire/9780750983792/

‘Hitler’s Headmaster’ was first published in the April 2017 edition of Leopard Magazine.

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Oct 132017
 

With thanks to Ross Anderson, Senior Account Manager, Jasmine Ltd.

Organisers of Nuart Aberdeen have made a ‘call for walls’ to identify city centre sites for new street art murals to be developed when the festival returns in 2018.
The international award-winning festival made its debut earlier this year and a team of globally acclaimed artists showcased their talents by producing powerful murals attracting large crowds over the Easter weekend.

Nuart Aberdeen was brought to the city by business organisation Aberdeen Inspired and Aberdeen City Council, and was supported by main sponsor Burness Paull LLP.

In anticipation of the festival returning next year, work is already underway to find prospective new walls to use next year and the festival project team are keen to hear from property owners and business that would like to be involved.

Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said:

“We had an overwhelmingly positive response to the Nuart Aberdeen festival and it has been truly transformational, attracting significant footfall over the summer months. 

“We are delighted that the festival will be coming back and the festival team has started work to identify prospective new walls in the city centre for street artists to use next year. I’d encourage property owners and businesses in the city centre who would like to be considered to contact us.

“Already we have noted interest from city centre businesses, however we want to maximise this opportunity to shape Nuart Aberdeen 2018.”

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.

Martyn Reed, director and curator of Nuart, said:

“The artists, team and partners had an incredible first year in Aberdeen, a truly remarkable event that we took a lot of credit and accolades for alongside our partners, Aberdeen Inspired.

“It’s always a little humbling taking credit for Nuart, because the reality is, the event is a huge collaborative undertaking between so many different talented and passionate individuals and partners. This is where our ‘call for walls’ comes in. It’s a truly democratic way to have the public and local businesses involved in where the art might be placed.

“We can’t wait to see what comes in and to get feedback from artists who will be with us next year. We’ll be in town shortly to scout locations, and the more options we get the better.”

Shaun Hose, Assistant Director of Rockspring, which owns Aberdeen Indoor Market, which was the centrepiece of the inaugural festival has encouraged property owners to come forward.

He said:

“Rockspring have been fortunate enough to work with Nuart on three artworks which exceeded our expectations. The art is now an integral part of the Indoor Market space overlooking The Green and the trendy Merchant Quarter.

“We are proud to have worked with Aberdeen Inspired and Nuart by providing them with a canvass to enhance the urban landscape and breathe life back into our building.

“We and the stakeholders of the Merchant Quarter have benefited from Nuart Aberdeen and look forward to working with them again on other projects whilst continue to invest in Aberdeen.”

The call for walls comes as discussions with Aberdeen City Council are ongoing to secure Nuart Aberdeen for the future.

Councillor Jenny Laing, Aberdeen City Council Co-Leader, said,

“Aberdeen City Council was both proud and delighted to be the joint delivery partner for Nuart Aberdeen this year.

“The festival showed the very best of the Granite City and this is reinforced by the overwhelming response to the festival by residents and visitors alike. It is therefore right that discussions with partners are continuing as to how the council can best support this very special festival going forward.”

Walls must be in a good condition for paining and interested parties should contact the Nuart Aberdeen project team via: 01224 566291 or email: callforwalls@aberdeeninspired.com

Aberdeen Inspired is the banner under which the Aberdeen BID (Business Improvement District) operates. It is a business-led initiative within the city centre in which levy payers within the BID zone contribute. Proceeds are used to fund projects designed to improve the business district.

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

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Aug 252017
 

With thanks to Ross Anderson, Senior Account Manager, Citrus:Mix

A leading Aberdeen business organisation has hailed the impact of a popular street market which has returned to the heart of the city.

The Belmont Street Market, which is now under the management of Moray Farmers Market Ltd, returned on the final Saturday in July after last being held in May.

Aberdeen Inspired has reported a 26 percent increase in Belmont Street footfall that day, compared to the final Saturday in June when there was no market.

The market, which will next be held on Saturday, August 26 from 9am to 4pm, will run on the last Saturday of each month and in December it will run every Saturday prior to Christmas. 

A firm fixture in Aberdeen, the market had been running for 17 years under previous ownership. It will now boast several new stalls, including: Garay’s Bakery, Sweet Toots Cakery, The Rookery, and Little Squares of Heaven bakery.

Aberdeen Inspired worked with the new owners to reintroduce the market to the city centre and bring back an important part of retail activity in the area.

Geoff Cooper, Aberdeen Inspired city centre manager, said:

“We’re very pleased to see the impact the return of the Belmont Street Market has had on footfall figures in the area. The market was always very popular and its clear it makes a significant impact.

“The market brings a lot of energy and vibrancy to Belmont Street and many street retailers in the area have also reported an increase in trade while the market is on which is great to hear.

“We hope people continue to support the market so it can have a sustainable future for many more years to come.”

Aberdeen Inspired is the banner under which the Aberdeen BID operates. It is a business-led initiative within the city centre in which levy payers within the BID zone contribute.

Proceeds are used to fund projects designed to improve the business district. More information about Aberdeen Inspired is available at: www.aberdeeninspired.com

Jul 282017
 

With thanks to Ross Anderson, Senior Account Manager, Citrus:Mix

A leading Aberdeen business organisation has welcomed the return of a popular street market to the heart of the city.

The Belmont Street Market, which is now under the management of Moray Farmers Market Ltd, will return to the city centre on Saturday, July 29 from 9am to 3pm.

It will be held on the last Saturday of the month and in December the market will run every Saturday prior to Christmas. 

The market, which was last held in May, had been running for 17 years under previous ownership.

Aberdeen Inspired has been working with the new owners to reintroduce the market to the city centre and bring back an important part of retail activity in the area.

Geoff Cooper, Aberdeen Inspired city centre manager, said:

“We’re very pleased to have supported the return of the Belmont Street market which was always very popular with residents and visitors to the city centre.

“The market brings a lot of energy and vibrancy to Belmont Street and it is great to see the large crowds who visit the stalls throughout the day. Many of the favourite stalls will be returning and the market will also showcase local products from Aberdeen and the wider North-east.

“We hope people turn out and support the re-launched market so it can have a sustainable future for many more years to come.”

Aberdeen Inspired is the banner under which the Aberdeen BID operates. It is a business-led initiative within the city centre in which levy payers within the BID zone contribute.

Proceeds are used to fund projects designed to improve the business district. More information about Aberdeen Inspired is available at www.aberdeeninspired.com

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Jun 022017
 

With thanks to Jessica Murphy, Account Manager, Jasmine Ltd.

Organisers of the hugely popular inaugural Nuart Aberdeen have hailed the response of visitors, as research reveals that 80% of attendees agreed the event increased their pride in the Granite City.

The festival, brought to the city by Aberdeen Inspired, attracted crowds of thousands and set the arts and cultural scene in Aberdeen alight.

A survey put together by Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce has revealed the thoughts of visitors to the event, which reflect the fantastic feedback received throughout the festival and in recent months.

Nearly 90% of respondents to the survey agreed that Nuart Aberdeen, which was supported by Aberdeen City Council and Burness Paull LLP, demonstrates that Aberdeen is a progressive city, with three in four also stating that the artistic extravaganza was their main reason for coming into the city centre.

Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said:

“The response we have received to Nuart Aberdeen, both in the city and around the world, absolutely blew us away. We knew the ambition of the event was high, so to receive such an amazing reaction was incredible after all the hard work that went into bringing it here.

“These findings are wonderful to look at, as they reflect what we strive to achieve, increasing footfall to the city centre and bringing a sense of pride and joy back to our wonderful city.

“Feedback in recent years from our levy payers has highlighted a demand for more large scale events to be held in Aberdeen and we are pleased to be delivering this, and seeing the benefits that it is bringing in terms of economic impact and the aesthetic of Aberdeen.

“The survey also showed that 76% of respondents agreed that the festival brought communities together, which is very much what we felt throughout the weekend, as families, individuals, couples and visitors to our city came together to enjoy and celebrate street art and the transformation it brought to the city.”

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

Street artists Fintan Magee, Nipper, Add Fuel, M-City, Alice Pasquini, Jaune, Isaac Cordal, Martin Whatson, Herakut, Julien de Casabianca and Robert Montgomery all showcased their latest work.

Elaine Farquharson-Black, partner and head of planning at Burness Paull said:

“The Nuart Festival has reenergised the city centre, igniting a pride in Aberdeen and promoting a real feeling of inclusivity.

“The stunning artworks and the stories they tell are reimagining our built environment, but what is more important is the positive vibe Nuart has brought to Aberdeen and its people, and the long-lasting effect this will have.”

The popularity of Nuart Aberdeen has led Aberdeen Inspired to introduce regular walking tours throughout the summer. These will be held every Saturday at 11.30am, led by expert Jon Reid, with a meeting point outside Contour Café on the Green.

Mr Watson added:

“The numbers at our walking tours during the festival were absolutely incredible, with more than 1,600 people taking advantage of them, and we are thrilled to be introducing them in the summer months.

“The tours will give visitors the full Nuart Aberdeen experience, taking attendees to the smaller pieces of art as well as the bigger murals created for this year’s festival. Our dedicated tour guide Jon Reid will also give background on each of the 11 international artists that took part, as well as an insight into their inspiration for the work they created.”

Aberdeen Inspired is the banner under which the Aberdeen BID (Business Improvement District) operates. It is a business-led initiative within the city centre in which levy payers within the BID zone contribute.

Proceeds are used to fund projects designed to improve the business district. More information on the work of Aberdeen Inspired is available at: www.aberdeeninspired.com

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

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Apr 282017
 

By Fin Hall.

“Beneath the paving stones, the beach.” That was the apothegm of Nuart Aberdeen. I would add: “Above the rubble, art.” 

I must admit, the level of success that Nuart Aberdeen has achieved is beyond my expectations.

I knew that this innovative project, I nearly used the word ‘happening’, because that is what it was, was going to be interesting and popular, particularly amongst people who like art and culture, but it captured the imagination of so many others also.

Before the international artists arrived, not many people I spoke to was aware of it. But as soon as the Herakut painting of their six year old daughter on the New Market wall in The Green was underway, the interest of the citizens of the city was well and truly piqued.

As each new work was underway or completed, it was virtually all that the conversations was about.

The magnitude of some of the works quite surprised some people: such a thing has never happened in Aberdeen before. But equally pleasing was the reaction to the smaller scale pieces too.

Norwegian artist, Nipper’s Mission Directive, Make, Take and Replace installations were popular (where he left made items on clipboards in various locations, e.g. The Shiprow, Trinity  Quay and Harriet Street to name but three, and these things were free for people to take and keep. Then local artists could leave a sample of their work, to be taken too), and so successful, that I personally only saw a work left on one place as I drove by, and by the time I got parked and went back there, it had gone.

Local artists, however were leaving samples of their work at various locations on the trail.

These clipboards are still in situ with the hope that this sharing of work will continue.

The school children I mentioned in a previous article helped paste up their contribution to Julien de Casabianca’s Outgoings project in Queen Street and Shiprow, and in the future, they will pasting more works up in their local areas, thus creating a bit of a legacy.

Julien himself said, in a very interesting and comical talk he gave in the Anatomy Rooms, that he is looking forward to returning next year – as did other artists, particularly on their social media pages.

The event, which was more than just painting, stencils, and sculptures etc, included films and discussions in the Belmont cinema, live music in Drummonds and a fight club debate in Underdog. There were also free pavement chalk painting and street printing workshops too.

Proving exceedingly popular was the street walking art trail tour. Around 300 turned up for the Saturday afternoon one, meaning that it had to be split up into two seperate groups with more than one guide per group.

On the last evening of the event, the members and artists from NUART ABERDEEN spent a very enjoyable time having a game of bowling down at Codonas.

It seems inevitable that the event will return next year, James Finucane, told me,

“The people embraced the art and the artists wholeheartedly. The turnout for the street art tours was phenomenal and it was great to see so many people exploring the city on their own as well, looking for all the works.

“We look forward to developing plans for Nuart Aberdeen 2018 with our partners in the near future.”

So do we James, so do we.

Meanwhile his task continues as he goes ahead with the organising of Nuart in it’s home city of Stavanger as it enters it’s 17th year. This year it runs from 31st August until 15th October.

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Apr 202017
 

With thanks to Ross Anderson, Senior Account Manager, Citrus:Mix.

Organisers of the Nuart Aberdeen festival have hailed the overwhelming response from members of the public to the city’s first ambitious international street art festival.
A team of internationally acclaimed artists showcased their talents by creating eye-catching murals around the city centre which attracted large crowds over the Easter weekend.

Nuart Aberdeen was brought to the city by business organisation Aberdeen Inspired and Aberdeen City Council, and was supported by main sponsor Burness Paull LLP.

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

Street artists Fintan Magee, Nipper, Add Fuel, M-City, Alice Pasquini, Jaune, Isaac Cordal, Martin Whatson, Herakut, Julien de Casabianca and Robert Montgomery all showcased their latest work.

Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said:

“We’ve had an overwhelmingly positive response to the Nuart Aberdeen festival and it was great to see so many people admiring the work, engaging and capturing it in the build up to, and throughout the weekend.

“All of the artists involved have caught the imagination of Aberdonians and we are very proud to have spearheaded this ambitious project with our partners to bring the festival to Aberdeen.

“We all know the granite shines in the sunshine but it can be a different story on gloomier days and we hope the influential art helps to enhance the area and offering for residents and visitors alike.

“The festival will leave a lasting legacy in the city, all of the street art will remain in place and we hope help to attract more cultural activities to the city and help Aberdeen as we encourage a transition through the city centre masterplan.”

As well as street art, there was also an extensive festival programme of activity including walking tours, talks, presentations, art workshops and the UK cinema premier of Saving Banksy at Belmont Filmhouse.

The festival artists also worked alongside local artists to create a lasting impression in the city centre by brightening up neglected spaces with their work.

Locations for the Nuart Aberdeen Festival work include: Market Village (Market St), Centro Court (Loch Street) Mackay´s (29-31 Queen St), The Illicit Still (Guestrow, Aberdeen), The White Screen (visible from Union Bridge), and Robert Gordon’s College Wall (Harriet Street).

Martyn Reed, director and curator of Nuart, said:

“It’s been amazing to see the diversity of those who participated in the festival, from young toddlers taking part in our Easter egg hunt to young people and adults engaging with the street art throughout the weekend.

“It seems like people have taken it upon themselves to explore the city centre throughout the festival which is a positive outcome.

“We are really pleased to have trusted custodians in our partners to continue the work of the festival, and we look forward to seeing the city flourish creatively.

“We’re also looking forward to working with Aberdeen Inspired, Aberdeen City Council and our partners to develop Nuart Aberdeen 2018.”

Aberdeen Inspired is the banner under which the Aberdeen BID (Business Improvement District) operates. It is a business-led initiative within the city centre in which levy payers within the BID zone contribute.

Proceeds are used to fund projects designed to improve the business district. More information on the work of Aberdeen Inspired is available at: www.aberdeeninspired.com

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

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Apr 132017
 

With thanks to Ross Anderson, Senior Account Manager, Citrus:Mix

Colourful street art will begin to appear across Aberdeen city centre this week as a team of globally renowned artists start work for the inaugural Nuart Aberdeen Festival.
Walls at locations throughout the Granite City will be transformed as part of Aberdeen’s first international street art festival which will run from Friday, April 14 to Sunday, April 16.

The first piece of festival street art in Aberdeen was completed by Norwegian stencil artist Martin Whatson on the Mackay’s wall on Queen Street which was unveiled on Sunday morning (April 9).

Nuart Aberdeen has been brought to the city by business organisation Aberdeen Inspired and Aberdeen City Council, and is supported by main sponsor Burness Paull LLP.

Held in the Norwegian city since 2001 and widely regarded as the world’s leading celebration of street art, this is the first overseas version of the festival.

Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said:

“We’re very proud to have a very talented line-up of international street artists for the Nuart Aberdeen Festival, and are looking forward to seeing their work take shape around the city centre this week.

“The festival is held in Stavanger each year and the organisers were keen to work with us to bring it to the UK for the very first time so it’s a huge coup for Aberdeen.

“It is also going to be a fantastic opportunity for local and international artists to work alongside each other on such an exciting project. We have a fantastic artist community in Aberdeen and we can’t wait to see their work.

“Nuart Aberdeen is an ambitious project which will give residents in the north-east and beyond the opportunity to engage with all of the colourful artworks which will soon pop up on walls across the city centre.”

The festival provides a platform for national and international artists to showcase their work through a series of murals, installations, interventions, and temporary exhibitions.

Street artists Fintan Magee, Nipper, Add Fuel, M-City, Alice Pasquini, Jaune, Isaac Cordal, Martin Whatson, Herakut, Julien de Casabianca and Robert Montgomery will showcase their latest work.

From Market Street and Queen Street to Belmont Street and Guestrow among others, the artists will use buildings and walls as their canvas to create their artworks.

The festival artists will also work alongside local artists to create a lasting impression in the city centre by brightening up neglected spaces with their work.

The first locations for Nuart include: Market Village (Market St), Centro Court (Loch Street) Mackay´s (29-31 Queen St), The Illicit Still (Guestrow, Aberdeen), The White Screen (visible from Union Bridge), and Robert Gordon’s College Wall (Harriet Street).

As well as street art, there will also be an extensive programme of activity including talks, presentations, film screenings, workshops and a few surprises over the course of the Easter weekend.

Martyn Reed, director and curator of Nuart, said:

“One of the often overlooked and possibly most long reaching positive effects of street art is just how many people it inspires to have a go themselves, many, not having touched a paintbrush since their last art class at school.

“And whether you go on to become an internationally renowned street artist like Martin Whatson, or you simply cut a stencil at the kitchen table with your kids for a skateboard, is irrelevant, the fact is, street art puts art back into people’s everyday lives like no other art form has even considered.

“Martin’s work, like Banksy before him, is crying out to inspire the next generation of stencil artists. As well as impressive works on public walls across the globe, it will be those smaller DIY attempts at kitchen tables, inspired by Nuart Aberdeen, that form part of the cultures’ lasting legacy.”

An Aberdeen City Council spokesperson, said:

“We are delighted to support events like Nuart through the City Centre Masterplan. The Masterplan’s Aberdeen 365 project aims to deliver a year-round programme of events, recognising that an enhanced cultural and sporting offer can add enormous vibrancy to a city.

“It’s been great to see the first piece of art take shape and I’m sure Aberdonians and visitors will be delighted with the colour that artist Martin Whatson has brought to Queen Street.”

Aberdeen Inspired is the banner under which the Aberdeen BID (Business Improvement District) operates. It is a business-led initiative within the city centre in which levy payers within the BID zone contribute.

Proceeds are used to fund projects designed to improve the business district. More information on the work of Aberdeen Inspired is available at: www.aberdeeninspired.com

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

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Mar 312017
 

With thanks to Jessica Murphy, Senior Account Executive, Citrus:Mix.

His subversive images are daubed on walls around the world and his name is synonymous with intrigue and activism.
Anonymous British street artist Banksy creates art with an irreverent wit and hard hitting message, gaining his notoriety through a range of urban interventions.

He is the subject of Saving Banksy, a documentary that explores attempts to preserve and profit from street artists’ work.

The UK premiere of the film, directed by Colin Day with narration by Paul Polycarpou, will be held as part of the Nuart Aberdeen festival, giving a rare and revealing look at the secretive world of street art and graffiti and its new-found value and worth in the traditional art world.

Featuring some of the world’s top street artists, including Jasmin Siddiqui of Herakut who will be taking part in Nuart, it poses the question ‘What would you do if you woke up one morning and found a million dollar Banksy spray-painted on the side of your building?’

The premiere, which is being held on Saturday April 15 from 4pm at the Belmont Filmhouse in Aberdeen, will be preceded by the short documentary Eloquent Vandals, which tells the story of how Stavanger – a small city on the West Coast of Norway – gained a global reputation for street art.

Nuart Aberdeen has been brought to the Granite City by Aberdeen Inspired and Aberdeen City Council and is supported by Burness Paull LLP.
Street artists Fintan Magee, Nipper, Add Fuel, M-City, Alice Pasquini, Jaune, Isaac Cordal, Martin Whatson, Herakut, Julien de Casabianca and Robert Montgomery will take part in the inaugural Nuart event from April 14 to 16, which is the first of its kind in the UK.

Colin Farquhar, Belmont Filmhouse Cinema Manager, said:

“We are delighted to be hosting the UK premiere of Saving Banksy in Aberdeen. Banksy is a cultural phenomenon and we are sure the showing will be popular.

“This is a great opportunity for the public to immerse themselves in all things street art, taking in the film and enjoying the thought provoking works that artists will bring to Aberdeen during Nuart.”

Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said it was a privilege to showcase Saving Banksy at the festival.

He added:

“Banksy symbolises the debate that goes on around street art and this film is a brilliant platform for discussion. We want to get people talking about art and bring it to a new audience in the city and are hugely looking forward to the premiere.”

James Finucane, General Manager, Nuart Festival, said:

“Saving Banksy has received widespread critical acclaim – from The New York Times to the LA Times – since its release in the US earlier this year. It’s a great coup for Aberdeen and a fascinating insight into current debates about street art practice and the traditional art establishment’s efforts to remove the ‘street’ from ‘street art’.

“As a new international platform for street art, Nuart Aberdeen aims to not only present the most interesting and relevant artist of our time, but to also stimulate debate about what art is, and more importantly, who it is for. We hope that the film will encourage people to reflect on why it is street artists do what they do as well as inspire others to follow in their footsteps.”

Other events being held at the Belmont Filmhouse during Nuart Aberdeen include BSA Film Friday Live on Friday April 14 (hosted by the founders of influential Street Art blog Brooklyn Street Art), a screening of the cult US ‘outsider’ art movie Beautiful Losers on Sunday April 16, artist talks hosted by Evan Pricco (Managing Editor of Juxtapoz Magazine), and panel debates featuring an array of local, national and international guests such as Aberdeen historian Dr. Fiona-Jane Brown and Pedro Soares Neves from Lisbon Street & Urban Creativity.

Aberdeen Inspired is the banner under which the Aberdeen BID (Business Improvement District) operates. It is a business-led initiative within the city centre in which levy payers within the BID zone contribute.

Proceeds are used to fund projects designed to improve the business district and driving footfall to the zone.

More information on the work of Aberdeen Inspired is available at www.aberdeeninspired.com

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Dec 052014
 

unionsttallpicBy Bob Smith.

I’m aul aneuch ti myn the time
Fin in a clean toon we did bide
Aboot  pavements an shop fronts
Local fowk they took great pride

Shopkeepers wi bucket an mop
They kept the place richt bonnie
Sad ti say o sic carin fowk
Ye dinna noo see aat mony

Washin doon their winda gless
So’s fowk cwid see their wares
Be it floorie baps an funcy pieces
Or polished aipples an sweet pears

There’s nae shops o aat kine
In oor main street ony mair
Jist phone shops an coffee shops
Union Street his lost its flair

Greedy landlords hikin up the rent
Hiv seen local shops in demise
Multi nationals and finance shops
They are  fair noo on the rise

Aboot 80% o their takins
Gyangs awa oot o iss city
Shareholders aa ower the country
Are smilin mairs the pity

Shoppers noo jist  hae a thocht
Fin next ye spend yer cash
It’s nae aa bidin in the toon
Wi local shops we’re nae awash

Union Street is fair sufferin
O aat there is nae doot
Supermarkets and shoppin malls
They’re takin aa the loot

The fate o oor local economy
Is in the  hauns o us aa
Support the local shoppies
Afore they gyang ti the wa

Ti mak oor toon spik an span
Wi hiv ti chynge the trends
O spittin oot oor chuddy
Or chukkin doon fag ends

©Bob Smith “The Poetry Mannie” 2011

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