Word as Image: Islamic calligraphy in contemporary art

In the broadest terms calligraphy can be seen as a prescriptive form of drawing and in this liberated sense an artist is free to investigate its role as both message and ornament. This article looks at the nature of Islamic calligraphy via the works of two very different artists working in Australia today  Iranian born Hossein Valamanesh and Naeem Rana of Pakistan. With the significance of language and the written word in Islamic culture it is hardly surprising that visual artists have in recent decades turned to it as the source of cultural and political potency.

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