Age will be but a number as the world of street art is opened to seniors in a UK first during Nuart Aberdeen.
Often presented as a pastime for young people, organisers of the festival are set to challenge that stereotype by providing the opportunity for over 65’s to delve into the graffiti and street art world, and in their own imitable style.
So, if you are, or know someone aged 65 plus with a rebellious spirit, who would like to learn more about the culture and create some artwork on the streets of the Granite City, then Nuart Aberdeen wants to hear from you.
Held on the afternoons of April 17 - 19, the workshop ‘LATA 65 – Young at Art’ will be led by internationally renowned Portuguese curator and architect, Lara Seixo Rodrigues.
Lara came up with the idea for the workshop after noticing through her own curatorial interventions that urban art was reaching and provoking a reaction from the most varied of groups, but particularly older people and residents.
LATA 65 emerged as a challenge to take the interest shown by an ‘ageing’ audience to prove that ‘active ageing’ makes sense and to bring seniors close to a form of artistic expression usually associated with younger people.
Over the course of the workshop Aberdeen participants will learn all about street art, starting with its roots in activism and graffiti and will conclude with the group producing their own work on the city streets as part of the festival.
Lara Seixo Rodrigues said: “My favourite thing about doing LATA 65 is watching the huge transformation that each senior goes through. It's always amazing having the possibility, of just after a few small challenges, watching the elderly group just like any bunch of kids having fun in front of a wall, where there's no pain, no traumas, and without any definition of what is right or perfect for a person of their age.
“LATA 65 is all about the process and understanding of what the participants feel about Aberdeen and demystifying these artistic expressions. Through these a process is made is towards a new recognition, where each student can learn new things and take part in new activities which they never imagined doing, like going to the streets to paint a wall. I always hope that this seemingly simple action enables the community to understand the tremendous potential that seniors have inside, which can be used to empower society.”
Martyn Reed, Nuart founder and curator said: “Inspired by Lara and LATA65, Nuart have been running a seniors programme for a few years. Like Lara, we noticed the audience for Street Art was much broader than was being publicised and that a lot of pensioners were joining street art tours and attending openings. We wondered if Lara’s project and philosophy could transcend borders, and of course it did. It was hugely popular.
“We’ve since had participants between 80 and 100 years and toured the regions old peoples’ homes. Society can often be quite condescending towards pensioners, with its focus on “youth”. Lara’s project fosters a different and more inclusive approach to how we build our communities and who has a voice in them. It’s a project that helps us develop genuinely dynamic, creative and resilient communities, it’s also a lot of fun seeing Grannies and Grandads going out tagging.”
Lara will be participating in a Q&A after the afternoon screening of a short documentary on LATA 65 on April 20 at Belmont Cinema as part of the Nuart Plus series of events.
Nuart Aberdeen is spearheaded by Aberdeen Inspired and Aberdeen City Council, with generous support from delivery partners Burness Paull and The McGinty’s Group.
Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, added: “The work that Lara Seixo Rodrigues carries out with seniors through LATA 65 is inspiring and reinforces the power of art for all age groups. We would urge sons and daughters to nominate their parents, grandchildren to put forward their grandparents and of course, seniors themselves to apply and be a part of something very special during Nuart Aberdeen.”
Lara Seixo Rodrigues grew up in Covilhã, a small town in the interior of Portugal, close to Spain. She cites growing up between two cultures and customs as a huge inspiration, which justifies the constant and endless curiosity that leads her. That led to her studying Architecture in Lisbon, and also aroused her interest in other artistic areas and intensified her interest in urban art.
This passion gave rise to WOOL | Covilhã Urban Art (2011) street art festival and since then a succession of other formats, geographies and publics, examples of which are LATA 65 - Urban Art Workshop for the Seniors.
For the management of all these facets, she founded MISTAKER MAKER | Platform for Artistic Intervention (2014), whose mission is to creatively promote the production and promotion of Contemporary Art exercises, in all its forms of expression.
Application forms for LATA 65 - Young at Art can be picked up, filled in and posted into an application box from a pick-up point near the food court area on the Upper Mall of the Bon Accord Centre. Electronic versions can be requested by emailing email@example.com
The deadline for all applications is March 29, 2019. Participants will be selected at random and notified by April 2, 2019.