Aerosol Ali tells Jesus’s story in spraypaint

Artist Mohammed Ali
Artist Mohammed Ali
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AN award-winning street artist is putting the finishing touches to a major project due to be broadcast on BBC One.

Mohammed Ali – who is also known as “Aerosol Ali” –has gained a worldwide following for the huge urban art installations he has created in cities across the globe.

Mohammed has been working on a project for the Great North Passion (GNP), a re-telling of Christ’s last hours, which will be screened live on Good Friday.

Artists have been working with communities in Sunderland, South Tyneside and across the region on interpreting themes developed from the 12 stations of the cross.

Mohammed has been based in Red House, working with the congregation from St Cuthbert’s, students from Red House Academy and youth groups on Red House estate to examine the theme of isolation. A Muslim, the aim of his art is to connect people of different faiths.

He said: “We explored parallels with that of Jesus’s journey. How does the idea of feeling isolated carry across into our lives today? In particular, the multicultural/ multifaith society that the UK is today. How is the story of Jesus appreciated by people of non-Christian faith?”

Mohammed translated what was said into a mural spray, painted on to a large shipping container, which is on land just outside of St Cuthbert’s.

All the artists and communities were given these containers, which will be transported to Bents Park, South Shields – where the GNP will be broadcast from – to create a huge church.

The GNP is a joint collaboration between the BBC and the Cultural Spring, a £2m three-year Arts Council-funded project working with five wards in Sunderland and five wards in South Tyneside.

Rebecca Ball, project director of the Cultural Spring, said: “Ali’s work brings a fascinating range of perspectives to this project, and we were fortunate to have someone with such a global reputation wanting to be part of the project.”