Artist eL Seed kicks off a new public art initiative, called Jedariya (Arabic for 'walls'), in Sharjah with a calligraphic graffiti mural that stands 12 storeys tall. The initiative was launched by the Maraya Art Centre with a view to “foster an appreciation of the arts among all, but also attract artists and art lovers from Sharjah” according to Marwan Al Serkal, the chief executive of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq)

The work took the artist two weeks to complete, and saw him suspended on a crane-supported platform, weaving his way down the building blazing a trail of artistry in yellow, pink, blue and red as he went. 

"We want to create landmarks for the many diverse communities living here," said centre director Giuseppe Moscatello. "Sharjah is home to so many different people from all over the world, yet the one thing we have in common is the public, urban space that we share," he added. "The demography at the heart of Sharjah is very important to us."

The unity of the emirate is very much the theme at the centre of this art drive and eL Seed instinctively understood this and effortlessly kept this message at the crux of his colourful street-art design. Honing in on the words of Ahmed Bu Sneeda, a famous 19th century poet hailing from Iraq, but a resident of Sharjah for most of his life. The poem is a monologue with a loved one, in which the poet protests: "I speak to you but you do not reply; I visit but you do not visit me." The poem was so well known in the area that it became a common neighbourhood song. 

"I chose it firstly because the poet was a calligrapher, he taught many people calligraphy in Sharjah and the poem was well-known by everyone," says the eL Seed of his poignant inspiration. "But I also liked its meaning: It was written in the 19th century but it is relevant to our time where we use social media so much that we are end up having conversations with ourselves."

eL Seed's sprawling and colourful graffiti-calligraphy can be seen on the side an abandoned on Sharjah's Bank Street, and its well worth a look. 

Street artist eL Seed completes ambitious Sharjah artwork

Street artist eL Seed completes ambitious Sharjah artwork

Street artist eL Seed completes ambitious Sharjah artwork