Artist Statement

Artist Statement

I have always had a special interest in the works of the great poets of the eastern world, and have often sought to use them as subjects of my work as an artist. In the past, I have undertaken various projects collaborating my own style of work, with the poetry of Iqbal, Rumi, Bedil, which involved the creation of compositions in the genres of miniature, painting and calligraphy. This time, I have selected the works of Rumi, Iqbal, Faiz, Ghalib, Ameer Khusro and Alyse Faiz . Thus, inspired by “Dear Heart” (letters of Alys Faiz), my current work is an additional collaboration with the motivational, memorabilia, eternal waiting, sacrifice, companionship and inspirational ethos of all those literary figures that I have mentioned earlier. So, I have used their rich and everlasting words to create various calligraphic compositions based on the special technique known as siyah mashq.

Siyah Mashq is a style of Persian calligraphy that was originally used by calligraphers many years ago in Iran as a tool of practice.  Siyah means “rough” and Mashq means “practice”. Students of calligraphy, in order to practice their skills, would write and rewrite words over each other, and in doing so, would fill up the entire sheet in this manner. Subsequently, calligraphers elevated this technique to the status of a recognized style of Persian calligraphy, and gave it the name of Siyah Mashq.

I have made a humble but sincere attempt to present the great poets’ work in an innovative and unique style using the siyah mashq technique. In doing so, I have not only focused on the calligraphy itself, but have also borne in mind the meaning of those words, which I have tried to portray and depict through my work, by creating the compositions embodying the emotions and the message expressed in the subject poetry. Moreover, my work is presented in such a manner that it not only expresses itself as a work of calligraphy, but also appears to go beyond this into the territory of the genre of “painting”, by taking on some semblance of a painting.

Shah Abdullah Alamee

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