June Workshops and Open Studio

Back to the Source: The Mystery of Kufi

This is a one-day taster workshop where we will return to the very earliest, and long abandoned, style of manuscript Kufi. I will talk in some depth about the origins of the script, its particular qualities and its spiritual purpose. We will then learn to write key letters with the reed pen, also going over their deeper meaning. The session is meant to be immersive and meditative rather than results-oriented, with participants encouraged to work at their own pace. From there a full course may take shape for anyone who wishes to complete a technical training in this style.


Open Studio 2016

Exhibition: Lighting the Darkness

You are invited to join us at an interesting time of the year. The Winter Solstice marks the darkest point of the year, but it is also the moment when Day is reborn and Night begins to recede again. For this exhibition timed to end on the Solstice itself, three artists have come together to explore the relationship of Light and Darkness in their respective practices.

Dates: The show will run from 8 to 21 December, open daily from 12 to 7 pm.
Private View: Tuesday 8th December, 6 – 9pm
Solstice Event: Monday 21st December, 6 – 9pm
Location: The Crypt Gallery, St Pancras Parish Church, Euston Road, London NW1 2BA (across Euston Station, entrance on Duke’s Road) 
Entrance is free to all, no booking required!

About the artists:

Joumana Medlej left her native Beirut in 2013 to settle in London. She works with the nearly forgotten Kufic script, acquired through many years of working with a master. Leaving old forms behind, she pushes the geometry of the script and makes novel use of materials to reinvent Arabic calligraphy in every piece. Joumana’s work is in private and public collections in the UK and Middle-East. 
www.majnouna.com

Alan Craxford has lived in London since 1967. He is best known for his signature hand-engraved jewelry which is widely exhibited in the UK and internationally. Four years ago, during the long recovery following an operation, he began to experiment with scalpel and paper. This enabled a whole new direction where light and shadow, colour and pattern can be worked together in a unique way, both meaningful and beautiful. 

www.alancraxford.com

Lynette Howells-Moore is originally from Melbourne, Australia, and now lives near Chester. Her training in Fine Art Painting is wide ranging, and her paintings encompass a wide variety of mediums: the ancient technique of egg tempera painting and gilding, oil painting as practiced by the Renaissance Masters, and the more modern mediums of watercolour, pastel and pencil. She has works in private collections worldwide. 

www.lynettehowellsmoore.co.uk

Invitation: The Secret Garden of Alif

We are 4 women creatives, 4 winds blowing between the Levant and London, 4 directions of Arabic calligraphy which we invite you to discover in:

The Secret Garden of Alif

An open house and open heart event offering affordable art*, mutual encounters, scarves, live creation, pillows, homemade Mideastern treats – all amidst the whispers of Alif.

*For this event only, we are all discounting our work.

When:
Sunday 27 July, 11:00-19:00

Who:

Joumana Medlej was trained in graphic design but always craved more meaningful expressions of creativity. She learned the essence of Kufi, the first Arabic script to be consciously made beautiful, through years of close collaboration with master calligrapher Samir Sayegh. He impressed upon her how to breathe new life into a traditional art, not merely copying or reviving its old forms but finding a contemporary language for it. Joumana is specially interested in the unique relationship between Kufi and geometry, both sacred arts. Her work seeks to uncover hidden order, how the words choose to reveal themselves, and evoke the magic that comes through when form and meaning are one.

Greta Khoury developed a fascination for Islamic calligraphy and the poetry of forms while designing graphic identities and typefaces.
She embarked on a journey to discover the history of the art and explore ways to bring its spirit into contemporary design practice. She encountered along the way many inspiring masters who each in their own way have taught her that forms are carriers of very ancient messages where sounds become words, words become forms and forms become constant reminders of the wonders of life.

Dia Batal‘s art/design work is a result of her interest in creating pieces that respond to her identity in content and aesthetics. It is the outcome of an admiration of Arabic calligraphy, language and the traditional art of working with text. She borrows from that, and finds ways of creating limited edition pieces in a contemporary language. The work she does is often context specific and enables audience and user to physically engage with it. Dia uses a free style Arabic ‘type’ that she’s developed to create an object, and tell its story, while looking at the possible transformations of the text, in relation to its meaning, the space it occupies, and function of that object itself. … 

Noor Saab was fascinated by abstract orderly geometric patterns from a young age, and found herself naturally drawn into the world of Kufic script and arabesque patterns. Growing up in Beirut and then moving to London, her work is an expression of a strong oriental identity engaging with a plethora of western influences, constantly embracing the coexistence of opposites… the old and the new, the conservative and the rebel, the traditional and the modern. Come discover her debut collection of scarves – Salam, in a bold and vibrant tribute to peace.

Please pass the word on. We look forward to welcoming you!

Maktoob Calligraphy Exhibit

I’ve been talking about it for ages, and it’s finally happening. Please share this link far and wide, the exhibit is up for a month and a half in a really lovely venue (with a bar!) and that’s plenty of time to catch it. I’d also like to add that during the month of July, we’re coinciding with a spectacular exhibit by my calligraphy mentor Samir Sayegh, just next door in the Beiteddine palace. Arabic calligraphy is the theme for this summer, don’t miss it!