Graffiti Inspiration from Medieval Script
Niels Meulman, a Dutch graffiti artist otherwise known as “Shoe” was recently contracted to paint six works of art honoring the Lindisfarne Gospels for a celebratory exhibition of the gospel’s return to northeast England. The fusion between 1,300 year old calligraphy and modern graffiti is currently displayed in Durham and is causing a stir of excitement from the local press.
The graffiti artist Shoe grew up in Amsterdam the 1980s where his talents for creative art were nurtured, yet the calling to recreate spiritual text was always obvious. However, Shoe is able to recognize the artistic similarities between then and now. He mentions the ability for ancient scribes and modern graffiti artists playing with words, allowing texts to form detailed images and the spiritual calling related to the work being created. Each of these similarities is significant to developing his masterpieces for the exhibition. Being able to empathize with an unfamiliar art form pushes Shoe to become focused at recreating timeless art in futuristic fashion.
One of Shoe’s calli-graffiti pieces of art ‘Turning Darkness into Light’ is an excellent example of a direct parallel between himself and historic scribes. Inspired from the Irish Gaelic poem ‘Pangur Ban’, Shoe explains the piece as perfect balance. The battle between good and evil, night and day, or light and darkness Shoe extrudes the passion of the never ending battle between two equal opposing forces. The mixture of grey and golden backgrounds are triumphed by the defining statement of the piece and then finished in traditional splatter paint graffiti style to keep his work relevant to the modern world.