Three of Scandinavia’s leading stencil artists have produced new works along the Akerselva river in Oslo as part of an on-going public art project by Oslo Kommune and Nuart Festival.
Oslo-based Hama Woods and Martin Whatson were joined by Finland’s Jussi TwoSeven. Together, the three renowned artists have added their names to the growing collection of Street Artists leaving their mark along the 8.2km stretch of river.
Jussi TwoSeven created a large-scale mural by using intricately cut layers of stencils at Oslo School of Architecture and Design. The piece, entitled The Grey Wolf, marks the centenary of Finland’s independence from Russia and draws attention to the current debate about whether or not these creatures pose a threat to humans – a debate which has left their future hanging in the balance.
In addition, Jussi placed a series of smaller works on electricity boxes in and around Kuba park. Their location is intended to encourage Oslo residents, visitors and street art enthusiasts to discover the works themselves as opposed to the traditional ‘art trail’, where public artworks are placed on a map.
At Markus Thranes gt 5, Martin Whatson draws on the rich Norwegian tradition of maritime painting. Utilizing his signature style that combines stencil art and graffiti, he has depicted a sail boat floating right next to the Akerselva.
“I first participated in Nuart Festival in Stavanger in 2013 and it was a pleasure to work alongside so many artists I respected and admired. As an Oslo local, I’m delighted to have been invited to take part in Nuart’s latest project along the Akerselva and look forward to seeing it develop over the coming months and years. From my experience, it’s difficult to get good walls in Oslo but Nuart has built such a strong reputation for their work not only in Stavanger and Norway but around the world, it’s obvious that the Oslo Kommune and wall owners trust them to produce works in prominent locations such as this one” says Martin Whatson.
Near Martin’s work (Holstsgata 2), Norway’s leading female street artist Hama Woods has depicted a chameleon putting colour (literally) back into our everyday lives – (Main cover photo). The piece – overlooking a children’s playground – takes inspiration from its immediate surroundings as well as the historical importance of ‘Play’ in street art culture: an influence most notably documented in legendary street art photographer Martha Cooper’s early book, ‘Street Play’.
Today, stencils are the most popular technique used for producing graffiti and street art worldwide, primarily due to their quick and easily-reproducible nature. Ever since Banksy touched down in Bergen in 2000 and left a trail of artworks across the city, Norway has enjoyed a love affair with the medium and in the process produced some of the world’s leading practitioners working with this diverse and adaptable medium.
About Nuart RAD
The team behind Stavanger’s internationally renowned Nuart Festival have embarked upon a new three-year public art project in collaboration with Oslo Municipality. The ambitious project will see the area adjacent to the Akerselva river, which cuts through the centre of the city, become a venue for the world’s leading street artists.
The public art project aims to celebrate the diversity of the four neighborhoods through which the river flows – Nordre Aker, Sagene, Grünerløkka and Gamle Oslo – and invite the local community to rediscover the area through the creation of an ‘art trail’. The Akerselva has historically been viewed as something of a socio-economic and racial dividing line between east and west – a line we’re interested in exploring.
Nuart RAD forms the core of Oslo Municipality’s five-year action plan for street art, which promotes graffiti and street art as part of contemporary art in public spaces.
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