If you live in Riyadh, you may have noticed beautiful calligraphy around the capital popping up recently and that’s because the local authorities have employed Saudi contemporary artists to “beautify” the city.
Riyadh has a number of development projects underway in a bid to improve the quality of life in the city, whilst also promoting sustainable living and going green.
Via Arab News
The many local artists adorning buildings across the Kingdom’s capital include female graffiti artist, Noura bin Saidan, who wants to put Riyadh on the map as one of the most “beautiful in the world.”
Noura bin Saidan creates magnificent art, and echoes the Saudi female voice in every paint stroke she sprays onto walls. See 8 of Our Favorite Pieces by Saudi Graffiti Artist Noura:https://t.co/aj05ltefUZ pic.twitter.com/gAXqhTKOlb— About Her (@AboutHerOFCL) September 9, 2018
Speaking to Arab News about the art initiative, bin Saidan said, “The initiative was launched in March 2020. I designed the place and chose the appropriate colors for the tunnel on King Khalid Road, which is near the heritage city of Diriyah. The colors I used are also inspired by the city’s heritage. We took advantage of this opportunity to participate in the Year of Arabic Calligraphy 2020, which is led by the Ministry of Culture.”
Noura has been using beautiful Arabic calligraphy to write the lyrics of Saudi Arabia’s national anthem in preparation for the Kingdom’s 90th National Day. The initiative is also a call for local artists to partake in similar projects.
The artist also added, “After getting approval for the design, we selected several artists based on their experience in this type of art.”
Noura Bin Saidan is the vice president of the arts and architecture division of the Omran Society and also runs her own art studio called “ns4art.” She told Arab News that she developed a passion for graffiti and murals when she was doing her master’s thesis about “the role of art in beautifying roads and tunnels,” and that “10 years later the dream came true and I started coloring Riyadh,” she said.
The tunnel that the artists collaboratively worked on for Saudi Arabia’s National Day took seven days to complete and Noura also explained that residents and officials were so happy with the colorful results that she was later contacted by various municipalities from different parts of the country about working on their towns and cities.