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.
“Nice job you have” he said, lighting up a cigarette while walking towards me.
“Your job is likewise amazing” I replied, pointing to the couple cuddling in the darkness that was taking shape on the long wall of a derelict building in the industrial area of Stavanger.
“Well, I’d loved to be a food critique and eat my way around the world. But I ended up painting.”
I had just thrown myself on the bed when one of Nuart‘s organisers texted that they were having a magic time at the festival’s headquarters, where Axel Void was playing some nice tunes. Without thinking twice, I opened my umbrella and ventured back into the Stavanger night. But, when I arrived at Tou Scene, I only found a bunch of artists scattered lazily around the main room: they looked like they had spent the afternoon painting and were just about to sit down, someone was smoking, someone else was sipping a beer, and all of them were staring at their phones or laptops, including Axel Void, who definitely wasn’t playing any music.