There is a real art to creating a vibrant city centre… and real art is at the heart of it.
So you can imagine my delight on hearing Nuart is returning to the Granite City next month.
Not next year, not at some date in the future, but in just a matter of weeks.
Now, that has to be one of the best bits of news we’ve had since we started this oh so slow process of coming out from the long grind of lockdown.
It means we will once again see world-class artists transforming – literally – the cityscape with works to delight the eye and the senses.
During the festival itself, gleefully extended this year to make up for the postponement of 2020, Aberdeen becomes an artistic hub.
Watching walls in the city centre become something else is almost like magic… from magnificent huge portraits, like the one in the Green to tiny, intimate pieces that you just happen across when you turn the corner.
They lift the city out of the grey, lift us all out of the mundane, be it with a sense of wonder or just a “oh, that’s pretty”.
Even the ones that make you cock your head to one side and say “eh?” are welcomed. Because they make you think about something outside the humdrum of ordinary life.
This year, that is more important than ever as we start to make our way out of lockdown and out and about again.
Nuart is a perfect, Covid-safe way to say “hello” to the world again.
I had a little taste of something similar at the weekend, when I took in the Restless Worlds kinetic sculpture trail across the heart of Aberdeen.
Stated by Puppet Animation Scotland, these eight pieces were something special – even more so with the soundscapes and narrations available when you get a ticket online.
From ones that make you think, “not sure I get that, but I like it… I think” to the sublime three-minute heartwarming story of Mr Holdcroft (at Marischal Square) it was a lovely way to pass an hour. I might even do it again before it finishes this Sunday.
So you can imagine how much I’m looking forward to that sort of experience taken to a whole new scale by Nuart.
Aberdeen Inspired, the lovely folk behind the festival, will be announcing new artists and which walls they will work in the near future.
But there are still plenty of works from previous years to take in just now.
The fact they exist, the fact people enjoy them, in some case have a real passion for them, shows the power art can hold over us.
And, if you want to be a bean counter for a minute, the way Nuart brings people into the city and the way it enhances Aberdeen’s international reputation, plays directly into boosting our economy as it tries to recover after the past devastating year.
So, when Nuart is here, embrace it, enjoy it, go and see it.. Aberdeen is a huge canvas and we are all part of making it big, bright and beautiful.
Election results show demand for referendum
We are truly through the looking glass in the wake of the Scottish elections…
Specifically the quote from the White Queen about believing six impossible things before breakfast.
Barely had the count finished than Unionist parties were saying the SNP’s comprehensive victory was actually a failure without a majority. Which ignores an electoral system designed to make even getting close to a majority nigh on impossible.
Then there’s the whole “no mandate” for a second referendum, despite there being a majority of pro-independence MSPs, with both the SNP and Greens clearly standing on an indyref2 manifesto.
Wasn’t it Douglas Ross who kept telling us every vote for the SNP was a vote for indyref2? There you go then.
No matter how many hoops of logic you want to jump through, this election was the Scottish people speaking, not the pollsters, analysts, or politicians.
That result says, clearly, people want to, at the very least, be asked the question again. Should Scotland be an independent nation? No one, be it through flat refusal or court action, can ignore that.
The very fact parties rejected so comprehensively in Scotland think they can just say “no” at Westminster proves exactly why independence is needed.
So, ask the question and let the people of Scotland decide what they want.
Lockdown pounds now showing
A weird thing has happened during lockdown.
All my T-shirts have shrunk. So, too, have my jeans. What the blue blazes is going on and how can I fix it before rejoining polite society?
I mean, I did order a couple of new T-shirts, including a nifty Banksy-style Dalek one. It’s just that I’m not sure the Dalek is supposed to be 3D like that. Oh, wait a minute. That’s my stomach.
Aye, you can kid yourself on that lockdown calories don’t count, but the Pringles and Gold Bars are now making their presence known.
There’s only one thing for it… bigger breeks.