Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Blending the Graffiti Gospels; Blend Calligraphy and Graffiti and What Do You Get? A Striking Homage to the Lindisfarne Gospels in 21st Century Style. DAVID WHETSTONE Reports

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Blending the Graffiti Gospels; Blend Calligraphy and Graffiti and What Do You Get? A Striking Homage to the Lindisfarne Gospels in 21st Century Style. DAVID WHETSTONE Reports

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID WHETSTONE

WE can only imagine what Eadfrith, the supremely talented 7th Century scribe who penned the Lindisfarne Gospels, would have made of the 21st Century graffiti artist known as Shoe.

But we know what Shoe thinks of Eadfrith.

"By being in the North East and seeing the Lindisfarne Gospels, I genuinely connected with someone who lived 1,300 years ago," he said.

"Eadfrith was the first calligraffiti artist."

The first what? Calligraffiti. It's the art form invented and practised by Shoe and is - as the word suggests - a fusion of calligraphy and graffiti.

Shoe introduced the world to calligraffiti in 2007 with a solo exhibition in Amsterdam where he is based.

Since then his calligraffiti creations have been shown in various international exhibitions and are part of several museum collections.

He is in the North East because he has been commissioned to create five original pieces of work to be displayed across the region.

Each is to be based on the words and imagery of the Lindisfarne Gospels which are on show in Durham until the end of next month.

Shoe is actually Niels Meulman who is 45 and was born in Amsterdam.

By all accounts he was a graffiti legend by the time he was 18, 'tagging' as Shoe from 1979.

In the 1980s he met celebrated New York graffiti artists in his own city - among them DONDI, Rammellzee, Haze, Quik and Keith Haring - and became inspired by their style of work.

He teamed up with like-minded fellows - Bando from Paris and Mode2 from London - and together they formed graffiti crew Crime Time Kings (follow the Wikipedia link to their website and it says "Sorry We're Dead").

Shoe, we can take it, moved on to better things.

Those better things include his Lindisfarne Gospels commission which yesterday saw him demonstrating his art in a unit at The Gates shopping centre in Durham.

Impressive in scale, it is clearly intended for a mass audience whereas Eadfrith, beavering away more than a millennium ago, can only have imagined his work would ever be seen by a select few. …

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