Sunday, August 11, 2013

Niels Shoe Meulman's Calligraffiti

Dutch graffiti artist Niels Meulman, also known as Shoe, has been commissioned to paint six pieces inspired by the Lindisfarne Gospels as part of an exhibition celebrating the return of the medieval book to north-east England. Shoe got his nickname when 11 years old and drew a picture of a shoe but nobody could make out what it was, ao he added the word next to it. The name stuck and now Shoe believes his contemporary works and the monks who illustrated the original gospels are similar because illustrators draw or paints words which are images, and hence abstract. This, explains Shoe, is the fundamental idea behind what he describes as calligraffiti (a fusion of calligraphy and graffiti). Like the monks who spent hours working on manuscripts to spread the word of God, so too are the graffiti artists dedicated to a cause. Shoe's five contemporary interpretations, funded by the Arts Council, will also be a tribute to Eadfrith, the monk credited with being the mastermind behind the Lindisfarne Gospels.

Shoe's Lindisfarne Gospels inspired work can be seen:
Tees Transporter Bridge, Middlesbrough
Castle Keep, Newcastle Upon Tyne
Durham, shop hoardings at Prince Bishop shopping centre
Chester-le-Street railway station
The Maltings, Berwick
Woodhorn, Northumberland, various locations

The pieces will remain on show until 30 September

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