UK street artists embellish Oman waterfront with 3D creations

Oman Saturday 17/September/2016 21:43 PM
By: Times News Service
UK street artists embellish Oman waterfront with 3D creations

Muscat: A trending art form that is new to Oman recently left walkers astonished at Al Mouj Muscat.
The popular 3-D (three dimensional) street art form made its debut in the Sultanate on Thursday, with two drawings by artists Philip Battle and Catherine McMahon.
Visitors at the city’s waterfront can now pose to look like they are feeding a sea lion or falling into a deep pit.
To the naked eye, the art looks like an unfinished painting, but from the right viewing perspective, it turns into a magical studio that encourages passersby to interact with it. Battle and McMahon have also drawn footprints on the floor so that people can stand there and click pictures from the perfect angle.
The two Brits are no strangers to the Middle East; they have painted their mind boggling pieces on the pavements of Bahrain, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, but said they were amazed by the “very friendly and welcoming people of Oman.”
Using special homemade chalk, the artists said the two paintings have been designed in such a way that they will remain intact for about three weeks.
“It is a special formula we mixed just for this gig,” Battle said, adding that a lot of their creations are washed away completely after the first rainfall.
McMahon said she and Battle normally take three days to finish an artwork. But this time they accomplished a challenging “time-ticking” task as they had to complete two paintings in only 18 hours.
The street artists started out by drawing 3-D paintings on pavements in the United Kingdom 25 years ago, and they are known for their diversity in street art styles.
However, the duo believes street art is more than just 3-D paintings, which are in demand nowadays.
“It is fashionable now to have 3-D art, but that is going to go. That will not last forever. It is like all art things. It changes,” Battle noted.
“At the moment, people like it and they enjoy it, which is fine, and we are quite happy to do it, but art work is about creating diversity,” he explained.
Asked if they would come back to Oman for a leisure trip, the artists said, “It is a place that we would come back to. It is a different place with different people.”
The duo set up their company Urban Canvas in 1997, presenting their own brand of participatory pavement art at festivals and events around the United Kingdom, and abroad.
In 2001, they won the Manchester Airport “Business of the Year Award,” which was organised by Business in the Arts North West.