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Sun 24 Mar 2019 09:28 AM

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Video: Exploring Dubai's budding street art culture

There's no better example of Dubai's ability to embrace culture than in the variety of its creative talent. Maddy Butcher is a Dubai-based artist and is inspired by world music and makes abstract murals that end up on the side of some of the city's tallest buildings.

I caught up with her midway through a very special project; a collaboration between her and Sailor Jerry to create a piece of bespoke art — and to ask about what drives her creativity.

“The influence behind my work is this weird mixture of freedom and constraint,” says Butcher. “I actually don’t think you can truly be free without limits, and that’s what really drives my work.”

Norman ‘Sailor Jerry’ Collins himself was big on freedom of expression; his work was known for its boldness and iconic, flash artwork. With constraints on where they can paint, how do you feel it affects your work? “You know, here in Dubai we’re not technically allowed to tag the sides of buildings – it’s why I don’t call myself a street artist – and that changes the way I think about my art.

Am I still expressing myself? Absolutely”.

Daniel “Gravy” Thomas – aka the Sailor Jerry Rude Boy – is out to explore Dubai’s underground arts and culture scene.

(Source: Esquire Middle East YouTube channel)