Lion’s Head on Huntly Street

The piece I have chosen to discuss did not first strike me as part of the NuArt Festival, as it appears as if graffiti. However; on closer inspection, I discovered that it was pasted onto the metal surface of the wall, with a crinkled texture, revealing the material. This artwork is located on Huntly Street, between the church and Sainsbury’s and features a painterly portrait of a lion’s head. Measuring around 8 foot tall, the details of the lions face are carved out with white strokes on a black background. The dark lighting of the alleyway accompanies the colourless surface of the wall, allowing the contrasting white lines to appear almost luminous.

I feel like this piece has been one of the most interesting that I have found thus far in the NuArt festival because it encapsulates a sense of subtleness that I feel many others lack. Hidden behind a phone box and a set of bicycle posts, the piece does not assert itself with potency, but instead encourages the viewer to discover it. As it darkens, the piece manages to blend in with the dark environment of Huntly Street, background dissolving into the shadows, while the lion’s glorious white outline gleams in the reflection of passing cars and city lights.

There seems to be a correlation between the artwork itself and the location in which it is exhibited. Unlike other artworks that feature cartoons that interact with the building that they are pasted onto, this piece uses its location to almost appear like an optical illusion. The viewer does not see the shadowed background but manages to piece together the shape of the lion through the flecks of white in the darkness.

Though rather less loud and eye-catching, I believe that this piece encapsulates the subtle beauty in life. The lack of colour gives a sense of lack, which is then overthrown by the skill of the artist who manages to create something so aesthetically pleasing without use of a colour pallet. Located on a shortcut route from the centre of town, into the Rosemount area, the piece resides in its modesty, revealing itself to commuters to nod them on their way.

I could not actually get a great picture of the piece, as I am yet to manage a visit during the three hours of daylight that we have gotten per day since the clock change, I do apologise.


One thought on “Lion’s Head on Huntly Street

  1. Your description makes me eager to seek out this mural! I used to live near there and would have welcome a mural when I did! It is true that most of the Nuart murals are quite loud and stand out – very interesting to read about this one, that does something different!

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