For the exhibition, in February 2018, eL Seed was commissioned to make a new site-specific mural working with the community partners of Kettle’s Yard in North Cambridge.
In Arbury Court, North Cambridge, eL Seed painted a new mural, in his style of ‘calligraffiti’. The Arabic text is a translation of the words of poet Veronica Forrest Thomson, “Follow the reader, and his writer…”
We are delighted to share the news that the mural will stay up in Arbury Court until 2020.
Students from North Cambridge Academy said:
“This is amazing. I want to be an Arabic calligrapher, this is so inspiring!”
“This is so cool. El Seed is so cool. I can’t believe this is right outside my school”
Residents from the area and visitors to the mural have said:
“Bright, welcoming and energising”
“@kettlesyard and @elseed didn’t just give Cambridge and Arbury a beautiful mural – they opened up conversations about identity, beauty, poetry, strength, collaboration, hope, home, creativity, compassion and action.”
More about eL Seed
In recent years the artist has often worked collaboratively with communities to realise his large-scale wall paintings, most notably in 2016, when he conceived of an ambitious mural, called ‘Perception’, to honour the historic garbage collectors of the Manshiyat Naser neighbourhood in the suburbs of Cairo. A video about ‘Perception’forms part of the Actions exhibition.
eL Seed was born in the Parisian suburb of Le Chesnay to Tunisian parents. In his late teens, he became more interested in his cultural heritage and learned to read and write Arabic, an endeavour which had a profound impact on his artistic practice. Aged sixteen, he adopted the pseudonym eL Seed. He began his career on a modest scale, drawing on and spray-painting walls in the streets of Paris.
In recent years, eL Seed has used the vehicle of street art to promote peace, unity and greater social tolerance in communities riven by inequality such as the favelas of Rio de Janeiro and the slums of Capetown. eL Seed realises his dramatic and colourful murals in a style he calls “calligraffiti”, which is a blend of the ancient art form of calligraphy with stylistic elements derived from graffiti. His bold murals typically feature quotations from inspirational texts rendered in Arabic script, as a central motivation of eL Seed’s artistic practice is challenging preconceptions of Arabic culture.
The extracts here were written by Dr Sarah Lowndes for the Actions. The image of the world can be different book.