I don’t remember why we began chatting online, but I do remember that in Summer 2017, I wanted to join Sami Wakim on his annual trip to his hometown of Beirut. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it, so I (finally!) met him in the flesh for the first time at Nuart 2019. He was there to interview Lebanese street artist Jad El-Khouri as part of the festival’s excellent program “Nuart Plus”.
I’ve known Kristina ever since my first Nuart Festival. Together, we marvelled around the streets of Stavanger soaking up the creative atmosphere, something we were both experiencing for the first time. Fast forward to Nuart’s latest edition, we sat down to talk about the poetic tribute to Stavanger and its long-standing street art festival that is featured in MZM’s documentary “Imaginary City”.
At Nuart Aberdeen last year, I had the pleasure to help Carrie Reichardt mash hundreds of tiles into smaller pieces that—like the colours in a kaleidoscope made of life’s shards—would eventually tell two powerful stories on the walls of the Granite City. This year, after her talk had kicked off the Nuart Plus conferences programme, we sat down for a quick chat…
I met Jon on a boat. We sailed the Stavanger Bay together during Nuart 2017. Our sail was dressed with an eye chart like the one used by optometrists. Artist Igor Ponosov meant for it to symbolize the distance between public art and its audience; a gap that Jon Reid is definitely working hard to close with his cultural blog “Dancing in the Dark – Creativity & Culture in Aberdeen and Beyond”
It was by no means too late to leave the room. No matter how desperately I needed to be at the ‘tunnels’, I overheard that painful breakup story for too long to act indifferent in front of the man at the other side of the thin drywall, who had just confessed “I’m here because my heart is broken; my relationship hasn’t ended yet, but I can see the end approaching.”
As one more year passed by, I found myself thinking about my happiest moments from 2016 and –undoubtedly- attending the legendary Nuart street art festival in Stavanger (Norway) was one of them. Apart from a couple of interviews (with Axel Void and Henrik Uldalen), I still haven’t told you anything about that amazing experience, although you might have seen my round-up of outdoor and indoor murals and my recap of Nuart Plus academic conferences on I Support Street Art, the website I was representing at the festival. So I guess it’s about time I shared what my favourite walls in Stavanger are, not just from last year’s edition of this independent festival, but since its very beginning back in 2001, when Martyn Reed founded one of the pioneering events dedicated to everything urban and public art, which –since then- has been breaking new ground in the street art scene worldwide.