AbstractsPhilosophy & Theology

Engendering Contemporary Calligraphy Through Islamic Heritage: The Spirit of Arabic Calligraphy

by Duaa Mohammed Alashari

Institution: Savannah College of Art and Design
Department: Painting
Degree: M.F.A.
Year: 2015
Keywords: Thesis (M.F.A.)  – Painting; Savannah College of Art and Design  – Department of Painting
Record ID: 2058108
Full text PDF: http://ecollections.scad.edu/iii/cpro/DigitalItemViewPage.external?sp=1002787


This thesis is about connecting the Arabic language to universal spirituality. Calligraphy has become a prominent feature in my work, and I continue to use various Arabic fonts in all my works. Arabic calligraphy, which is also known as Islamic calligraphy, has a long history of development starting from the first written form of the Quran, in the early 7th century. My work introduces Arabic calligraphy as an art form to contemporary viewers and shows them how to identify, understand and appreciate its varied styles and modes. I use passages from the Quran and Arabic poems as a starting point. As the words progress in the painting process, they lose their legibility, in order to gain a new kind of inertia and meaning that embraces a visceral sacred space rather than a literal description. These paintings are about movement, rhythm and dynamism as seen through the calligraphic marks and dripping. The aesthetic principles of my recent works demonstrate my love for my language and culture in a contemporary way by combining Western expressionism with the aesthetic methods of traditional Arabic art. Keywords: Arabic calligraphy, Islamic art, contemporary painting, expressionism, digital fabrication