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Calligraffiti in the City: A Declaration of Love

I recently encountered the breathtaking eight-metre long, metal sculptural work Declaration by artist el Seed, located next to the stunning Dubai Opera. It is a visual treat and definitely reflects the heart of the city and the culture of Dubai.

Uniting people and democratising art

el Seed is a Dubai based street artist who has transformed the face of cities with his influential work. A pioneer of "calligraffiti," he has created a recognisable style that merges graffiti with Arabic calligraphy. eL Seed works in the public sphere inspired by the location they’re set in, his “calligraffiti” and installations reflect contemporary issues, cultural tolerance and help to unite people. His work is not signed and he doesn’t claim ownership upon them. He works for the people and most of the time, with the people who help shape the concept. This idea of democratising art extends to his studio space. He works from a warehouse in Alserkal Avenue in Dubai where the door is always open. He wants people to be able to visit him at any time and witness the way he works. The studio space is a reflection of what he does in public. The process and vision behind el Seed’s work speaks to the world right now, as how we experience art and culture is becoming increasingly democratised, especially in the digital space.

A city that I call home

Declaration is made up of spiralling electric pink text which is a line from a poem by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The text reads ‘Art in all its colours and types reflects the culture of the nations, their history and civilization.’ I believe this work really does reflect Dubai, it’s innovation and energy. el Seed describes the work as, ‘a declaration of love to the city that I call home,’ and to Arab calligraphy. This sentiment resonated with me as Dubai is now my home and I do love the city so very much too.

I can’t wait to visit his studio soon and will share my experience so watch out for that.

You can find out more about El Seeds here

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