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Scottish artist John Byrne describes street art as ‘magnificent’

The artist and screenwriter paid tribute to artists taking part in the Nuart Aberdeen festival.

Artist and playwright John Byrne (David Cheskin/PA)
Artist and playwright John Byrne (David Cheskin/PA)

Scottish artist and playwright John Byrne has paid tribute to the “magnificent” work of street artists.

Byrne, who wrote The Slab Boys Trilogy, said he admired those who could create large murals across city walls.

He was speaking at Nuart Aberdeen, an annual festival that features the work of 13 international artists this year.

“The art I’ve seen so far is pretty magnificent and it’s on a large scale, which is so hard to do,” he told the Press Association.

“I admire it enormously. They are wonderful artists to work on that scale.

“You don’t need to interpret it at all – you can just stand back and drink it in.

“Ordinary people, passers-by, people who live here, they don’t need someone to say: ‘Oh that means that, this means this’.

“It’s a wonderful enterprise.”

Byrne, who began painting large murals in the 1970s, said his advice to anyone interested in the art form was “find a wall”.

When asked about the difference a piece of street art could make to a city, he replied: “It livens it up.

“You turn the corner and you see something you have never seen in your life before, really big, on a wall, and brilliantly painted.

“It is really entertaining. It is a living thing in the side of an otherwise static space. It is just breathtaking.”

The festival will run until Sunday.

PA

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