Attending every edition of the festival since the inaugural 2017, we were very much looking forward to reuniting with our Nuart family for the fourth edition of now indefinitely postponed Nuart Aberdeen 2020 Festival. But, as it was to be expected with the event and the group of people around it, simply canceling and giving up on the dream wasn’t an option. After digitally launching Nuart Journal: Issue IV earlier this month (covered), they recently released Nuart’s Lockdown, Paste Up project which enables the cast of international artists to maintain a dialogue with the city they were going to visit. 

We could write reams on how and why we need to remain vigilant in these trying times, how we need to maintain a radical skepticism about structures of authority, including within our own culture, and how we might continue in our attempts to provoke and inspire by placing art on the streets. There’s an opportunity here to show why street art culture, and underground cultures in general, are profoundly relevant to these times. Our Nuart family is working with a need to discover and present content that we are producing organically – to decide that there isn’t a central message, a corporate platitude, or ‘a way forward’ –  to drop the idea of ‘timed posts’ and any thought of a centralized marketing plan or strategy to disseminate content. These are unchartered waters, and first and foremost we would like to stay kind to ourselves, gentle to others, and remain in synchronicity with the communities that surround us.”

These are the words with which Nuart founder and director Martyn Reed introduced their latest project, making sure the message was not confused for another marketing spin or an effort to stay relevant in times when the world is taking a much-needed pause. Lock Down, Paste Up is a paste-up poster campaign that took place on the streets of Aberdeen in recent weeks, allowing the selected artist to still leave their mark in the Gray City. While the global lockdown prevented them from being physically present on location and creating their works in person, Nuart got organized once again and found a way for their work to land on the walls of the city. Matching this year’s theme of both the journal and the festival, Freedom, this action is a simple undertaking that shows how far we can go when working together, or better, how difficult it is to take away our freedom if f we don’t want to let it go.

Artwork by Biancoshock (IT), ICY & SOT (IR), Jacoba Neipoort (DK), Jofre Oliveras (ES), Nuno Viegas (PT), Paul Harfleet (UK), Sandra Chevrier (CA) and Vladimir Abikh (RU)