Dharhan Summer Festival – Saudi Arabia

My experience in Saudi Arabia began with a very warm welcome. I was asked to produce an individual mural in four/five days but I ended up working with a brilliant crowd of Saudi and Bahreini graffiti artists instead – we collaborated in the production of a massive wall.

Both the welcoming atmosphere and the energy created with the other artists dispelled any of my misconceptions about Saudi Arabian culture. I was extremely impressed by the quality and precision of the artists, and their dedication to the tradition of graffiti was inspiring. I was also very happy to see that girls were involved in the graffiti art scene. They displayed just as much dedication and talent in their art despite, or in spite of, the unorthodoxy of spray painting in a niqab!

Although most of the artists had chosen American-inspired graffiti names, I was excited to feel their desire to work closer to their roots. Arabic graffiti still has so much to offer the world and to see young Arab artists taking on the challenge of mixing modern experiences whilst still anchored in cultural and religious traditions is exhilarating. This trip was very eye-opening and I did not expect to leave this project with so much to reflect on and so much positive energy to carry me through to the next adventure.

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About elseedart

eL Seed perceives Arabic Calligraphy as a tangible expression of his search for identity. Throughout his work, myriad paths intersect and mirror the multiple sources of inspiration which nourish his art. Emanating from this confusion is an amalgam of harmony and balance. His art is a mixture of street art and Arabic Calligraphy. It is the product of a double marginality, that of an oriental art seeking a voice in the occidental world, and that of street art struggling to legitimize its presence on the contemporary art scene. This duality enables the reconciling of two supposedly opposing worlds and two supposedly clashing cultures. eL Seed no longer tags his name on walls. He has decided to adopt a proverbial tradition in which the name disappears and only the message remains. Therefore, rather than searching for what distinguishes him from others, eL Seed searches for what unites him and others. His art is a link, an arm outstretched, a bridge towards those who are open to his message.
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