Melvyn Bragg and Mohammed Ali
Street artist wins South Bank Show award
The acclaimed Birmingham-based artist Mohammed Ali has won an ITV South Bank Award in the Arts Council England Diversity category.
Spiritual artist Mohammed Ali is known for merging graffiti style with Islamic art and connecting different communities. He accepted the Diversity Award which celebrates outstanding achievement in promoting diverse groups and cultures from Freema Agyeman, who stars in the BBC's Dr Who.
Now in its 13th year, The South Bank Show Awards celebrates the strengths and achievements of British talent across the spectrum of arts.
Overwhelmed at receiving the award, Mohammed Ali said "It’s an honour to accept a mainstream British Arts award. The art that I do is for everyone, it is universal. I truly believe that art enhances people’s lives and brings communities together and I hope that my work continues to inspire people from all walks of life."
On accepting the award he said: "I held up the trophy and spoke about the kids of Gaza saying, 'this is for all those unheard voices, suffering injustice wherever they are in the world regardless of faith, race or colour.'
Mohammed Ali at work in Sydney
"It was incredible to be there on stage with John Hurt, Ben Kingsley and Andrew Lloyd Webber listening to me."
Tony Panayiotou, Director of Diversity at Arts Council England and one of the judges for the award, said:
"The Arts Council is committed to placing diversity at the heart of the arts in England. Mohammed Ali is an exceptional visual artist and a pioneer of socially-conscious art. By fusing street art with the calligraphy of Islamic script, Mohammed’s work appeals especially to the young, the future of our country."
Mohammed Ali receives the award. Pic:ITV
The ceremony, hosted by Melvyn Bragg, took place on January 20th 2009 at the Dorchester Hotel, London and will be screened on ITV on January 28th 2009.
Guests at the glitzy awards show, included Ronnie Wood, Sophie Ellis Bextor and John Hurt who were entertained to live music performances from Michael Ball, Nigel Kennedy and indie rockers Razorlight.
Mohammed has painted his street-murals across the globe from Melbourne to New York and is known for his unique style, in which he aims to challenge a ‘clash of civilisations’ by painting messages of peace, unity, and other universal values.
'Free Gaza' mural by Mohammed Ali
Recently he has painted murals in Birmingham addressing the recent Gaza crisis and is known for painting murals highlighting the plight of the Palestinian people.
last updated: 21/01/2009 at 18:21