The past weekend marked the opening of the 18th edition of the world-renowned Nuart Festival and once again, AM was there to witness all of it. Different in quite a few aspects than in previous years, the 2018 edition produced a whole new body of new public interventions ranging in size, placement, and medium, while adding to Stavanger’s exceptional street art collection.
Due to unfortunate funding cuts this year, festival organizers were forced to slightly change their concept. “It has helped us to re-focus on who we are and what we’re trying to achieve – and of course, who and what it is we are here to support,” says the festival director Martyn Reed about the new situation. This shift resulted in doubling their list of artists that were invited to participate, instead of producing an indoor show which was one of the signature events of the festival. Producing works solely in public, the little army of 26 international and local artists produced the biggest body of work yet throughout the city.
Borrowing the title from Sun Ra’s Afrofuturist jazz classic Space is the Place, this year’s edition strongly encouraged the artist to step away from the beaten path and create works in most unexpected places, collaborate, improvise and display the culture that many believe still maintains revolutionary potential. With this in mind, the artists created everything from large-scale murals (done by the likes of Helen Bur, Milu Corech, Fintan Magee, Conzo & Globel or Skurk), to miniature trompe l’oeil interventions by Helen Bur (seen above), paste-up and wall paintings by Murmure, small-scale collages by Miss.Printed, public space modifications by Jan Vormann and Ememem, reality-twisting installations by Octavi Serra, and original concepts by Vlady.
Placed everywhere from the town’s waterfront to residential neighborhoods and parks, these new works now permanently supplement Stavanger’s already impressive collection of street art. Due to the size and the placement of many of the new works, they now challenge locals that are used to living with public art, to look carefully less trafficked areas in order to discover these gems. Once again encouraging others to see and use public space as a playground and a channel for communication, this new series of surprising works sparked a new interest for one of the citie’s most famous “attractions” and gathered a crowd of 200+ on their opening street art tour.
Photo credit: @SashaBogojev.