You are here:

How can the art of Arabic calligraphy offer a bridge between the material and the spiritual? The visual and the verbal? As a living tradition, Arabic calligraphy is a vital element of Islamic art. In this way, it offers an important platform for discussing the nature of, and intersections between, language, art and belief. In this online talk, Soraya Syed will describe her journey and practice as a calligrapher. Drawing on her experience as an apprentice in Istanbul and a practicing artist in London, she will illustrate both the spiritual and practical aspects of Arabic calligraphy. Soraya will then demonstrate some of her materials and how she draws a selection of characters, thus introducing the participants to calligraphy as both a gesture, or movement, and form. In the open discussion, participants will be encouraged to interrogate the spiritual, material, visual, and verbal aspects of Arabic calligraphy and its potential to extend our understanding of writing and image as a whole.

Soraya Syed is a classically trained calligrapher, artist and filmmaker. She continually works to push the boundaries of what is expected from this traditional art form. She takes the written word off the page into film, dance and VR and has worked with the likes of the British Museum and Royal Shakespeare Company.

This talk is followed by an in-person workshop on Thursday 11 November, 5.30-7.30pm.

Organised by Beatrice Bottomley (Warburg Institute PhD), and supported by the London Arts and Humanities Partnership (LAHP).