Mural at De Montfort Hall Celebrates Black History Month 2005

by Roz Tappenden | 11 October 2005
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a mural of a face made up of a patchwork of doodles

The mural was made with the help of the people of Nottingham. Image courtesy: Nazir Tanbouli.

A large mural is currently on display at Leicester De Montfort Hall as part of Black History Month 2005.

The giant canvas, on display until January 5 2005, is the work of Egyptian-born artist Nazir Tanbouli, best known for his dramatic and large-scale murals.

For his latest exhibition, entitled Greeting Cards From Nottingham, Tanbouli enlisted the help of the public – asking the people of Nottingham to draw on his canvases.

Participants knew that the paintings would be part of an exhibition in another city and many signed their names on their contributions.

a mural of a face made up of a patchwork of doodles

The artist has been getting people to contribute to his artwork for three years. Image courtesy: Nazir Tanbouli.

The display is part of Leicester’s Black History Month and was created during the 2005 Riverside Festival in Nottingham.

Tanbouli has been based in the Midlands since 2002 but he has continued to develop his distinctive style, which draws on ancient Greek and Egyptian styles of painting but reflects modern-day life.

He said: “I’ve never understood who I am or where I came from until I arrived here. In England I met people from all over the globe. Then I understood that I’m an Alexandrian boy – the son of my parents.”

detail of a mural showing black and white doodles

Many people simply signed their names on the canvas. Image courtesy: Nazir Tanbouli.

He added: “My identity shows in my work and my social behaviour and I wouldn’t ever want that to change.”

By involving members of the public in his work, Tanbouli hopes that he can help make art a community activity that touches every day lives rather than being something exclusive and mysterious. He has been inviting his audiences to help create his work for the last three years.

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