DUBAI

OPERA

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When eL Seed moved to Dubai in 2013, it was to start a residency at Tashkeel–a studio huband arts centre based in the Nad Al Sheba district of the city. His final show after the year-long residency was titled Declaration and the lettering was formed in three-dimensional shapes, protruding from the walls and curving around the corners. The words were taken from a poem by Nazir Qabbani, a Syrian poet famed for his sensual compositions, who wrote to his wife telling her no matter how much she aged, she would always be beautiful to him. The artist took those words to make a similarly emotional testimony to his art and make a love declaration to calligraphy.

In 2018, when Dubai Opera commissioned him for a sculpture, he wanted to pay tribute to Declaration as a way of declaring his love for the city of Dubai–the place which affected his life and his practice more than any other. eL Seed has lived in Dubai since 2013 and by making it is permanent home, he wanted to make his mark on the city. The Dubai Opera commission is just one way in which he has achieved this aim.

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