BOOK REVIEW ‘Lost Walls - A Calligraffiti Journey through Tunisia’ by French/Tunisian artist eL Seed
Jun 22, 2014 Book Review
'Lost Walls - A Calligraffiti Journey through Tunisia' by French/Tunisian calligraffiti artist eL Seed is a testimony of the unique art project in post-revolution Tunisia. eL Seed is one of the world's most famous calligraffiti artist. His work is well-known for its unique and very exciting contemporary designs of Arabic calligraphy, which became the trademark of his art.
The cover of the book 'Lost Walls - A Calligraffiti Journey through Tunisia' / Photo by Islamic Art Magazine
The art project, beautifully documented in ‘Lost Walls’, describes the four week calligraffiti road trip to many cities and regions of Tunisia where eL Seed painted 24 walls in total.
Artist's connection with the local culture and tradition is reflected through his selection of lost and forgotten walls of the ancient cities and desert sites. With the aim to combine the contemporary with the traditional, eL Seed painted the old and abandoned walls, giving them a new meaning and at the same time transforming them into works of art. Artist did his artistic interventions also at places sufficiently challenging and inspiring such as harbour docks and industrial zones.
Painting the minaret of the Jara Mosque in his home town of Gabes is eL Seed's best known and perhaps the most important project in the Book. Given that minaret is 47 meters high and 10 meters wide, we can only assume how much work went into the project. The text on the minaret, painted in his recognizable style, is actually the verse from Qur'an (49:13): "O mankind, we have created you from male and female, and have made you into people and tribes so that you may know each other." eL Seed's 'calligraffiti journey' is one of the most extensive and ambitious art projects in the Islamic world over the past few decades and is also a peak of his artistic career so far.
A spread from the book showing the painted minaret of the Jara Mosque / Photo by Islamic Art Magazine
The artist explains his vision, “What I would like from ‘Lost Walls’ is to give another image of Tunisia. After the revolution people now only link the country to politics. There has been governmental change of course, but the culture is still there, the history is still there and the focus should be on all of this beauty instead. I want to bring people back to Tunisia to discover the heritage that is left and lost there, just like the ‘Lost Walls’."
'Taghouri Dassah (authentic clay)' by eL Seed / Photo by Islamic Art Magazine
'You are in our hearts' by eL Seed / Photo by Islamic Art Magazine
'Someone who doesn't leave a mark behind hasn't really lived' by eL Seed / Photo by Islamic Art Magazine
'The sea is not a gift from our parents, but a loan from our children' by eL Seed / Photo by Islamic Art Magazine
'When you see the water, remember the source' by eL Seed / Photo by Islamic Art Magazine
'O desert, o my mom. Onk El Jmel' by eL Seed / Photo by Islamic Art Magazine
'The point of return' by eL Seed / Photo by Islamic Art Magazine
'Ephemeral' by eL Seed / Photo by Islamic Art Magazine
'Temoula, land of my Ancestors. There is no one like you' by eL Seed / Photo by Islamic Art Magazine
Learn more about the Book.