Adult education: Calligraphy and Illumination

Published: December 27, 2011
Non-traditional students exhibit their art.

Non-traditional students exhibit their art.


Alhamra on The Mall is currently hosting the National College of Art (NCA) Calligraphy and Illumination show. The show is a collection of work of 14 students who took a one-year diploma course to learn calligraphy under the tutelage of Ustad Gohar Qalm.

Amina Humza Wazir, a former art student, told The Express Tribune, “I have made the Ahaar (the paper calligrapher’s use) myself and then used traditional ink and a bamboo pen.” Wazir employs vibrant colours to enhance her works.

Javeria Farrukh, a recent NYU graduate now preparing to head to law school, uses the Egyptian geometric progression in her work. “The Egyptian geometric progression is a series of 17, ten pointed stars that are created from a single circle which represents the power of God,” explains Farrukh. She added, “When digits in the number 17 are added, they make eight which is believed to be the number of angels holding God’s seat.”

Dr Afshan Khan, pediatrician by day, has produced the 99 names of Allah on her canvas, “I have always wanted to discipline my artistic talent but never had the time. Finally, I felt the time was right to take the plunge and do it.”

Riffat Naim, left her career in art 35 years ago to focus her energy on her family. “Now that my children have grown up and are settled, I have time to myself and this is the best way to spend it. I want to produce works that are meaningful and decorative at the same time,” she said. Naim uses crystal studs and gold leaf to embellish her work. From Kufic text to Diwani script, the artists have experimented with many traditional styles and aesthetic sensibilities. The show will continue till December 31.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 27th, 2011.

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