Sunday, 04 May 2008

The calligraphy art has its very simple tools. Reed pens, traditional black soot ink and the paper. It can only be learned from a master calligrapher. The weekly lessons start with a line of prayer “Oh My Lord! Make this easy, never make it hard. My Lord! Let this end with the goodness.” To be able to understand the beauty in the letters the apprentice may spend at least five years with the master and can not sign his works or attempt to teach someone else before the master permits to do so. This is why not only the manuscripts were valued by the sultans in the past, but the calligraphers themselves were kept as part of their treasury too. Today the same techniques, same tools and same recipes are still preferred by the calligraphers not just because they were part of a tradition but because they have those undeniable characteristic values in terms of creating the beauty in the letters.

Speaking Art
Wednesday, 27 September 2006

Speaking Art: An Exhibition of Calligraphy
23 September 2006 – 21 January 2007
Calligraphy is the seminal art of Islam. It continues to exist - flourishing or marginalized - in all Muslim cultures for over fifteen centuries.

The exhibition will acquaint visitors with the many historical scripts related to Muslim cultures as well as introduce them to the exciting new international genre that has emerged in contemporary art, in the last few decades. Speaking Art will represent work from a range of countries, including Pakistan, India, Turkey and the United Kingdom. A wide variety of traditional and modern media will be depicted such as works on paper, leather, ceramics, metal ware, glass and multi-media. The exhibition will be further contextualised by historical material from the Cartwright Hall Collections .


Tuesday, 21 February 2006

These days I am very busy with something nonsense here in Istanbul. Someone has invented (?) a public seat made of fiberglass which exactly looks like an open book -to seat three people- with some poems and short literal texts on it. Their argument to support and promote this project is helping people with the culture and encouraging them to read etc. Around fifty of these now adorn the metro stations and some parks around Istanbul. They are lovely for all so far. But the matters that matter me are that these look exactly like BOOKs, the city is Istanbul, the Turks have not so far SAT ON BOOKS. And what is more even if someone would; this should not have happened in the divine city of Istanbul, as long as the calligraphy is considered to be part of it.

So dear visitors, I have raised a kind of flag to get rid of that nasty concept which is going to end up later blaming the Muslim Turks for “sitting on books” that their ancestors have died for. They are to me not less disturbing than any of those ugly cartoons which have been shaking the world for weeks.

I have been writing tens of letters to the newspapers, sending lots of e-mails to as many people, public affairs consultants, cultural foundations, journalists etc. as possible in the last couple of days. Some friends are still not very hopeful about my attempt when I mention first as if all have been bewitched, but these kinds of things only start with the very first step and I believe that this will attract quite a lot of interests and supports in the approaching weeks.

Any comments about that issue is highly appreciated, please do not hesitate to email me.