Seeking the divine through calligraphy

Arabic calligraphy artist Salva Rasool’s latest exhibition Elahiya features artworks based on the theme of Allah

An alumni of the Sir JJ School of Arts, Salva Rasool (50) has been pursuing her passion for Arabic calligraphy art for the last 25 years. Through her art, she renders an ornate or abstract style to Arabic words/verses and one of her favourite themes is ‘Allah’.

Allah (God), Mixed media on canvas
Allah (God), Mixed media on canvas

Her works include common Quranic verses and words that have a universal meaning.

Her latest artworks are being showcased in the exhibition, titled Elahiya. Part of the proceeds from the sale will be donated to the Cancer Patients Aid Association (CPAA).

Salva Rasool
Salva Rasool

Rasool says, “My recent creations are inspired by freedom. The youth movements for freedom around the world and the fight for freedom of expression have inspired my collection. Everyone is fighting for different kinds of freedom, be it freedom of expression, of identity, of religion...I have tried to encapsulate this struggle.”

Allahu Akbar (God is great), mixed media on canvas
Allahu Akbar (God is great), mixed media on canvas

When quizzed about the message behind her art, she explains, “I use universal verses and words from the Quran that are relatable to people from diverse religions. You don’t need to know Arabic to display my painting or appreciate it. I hope to bridge the gap between religions and cultures.”

Interestingly, Rasool creates her own tools as well. “Some of my paintings don’t have the use of brushes in them. I use a mixed media, and more of acrylics and oils. I have created my own nibs to lift paint in and use on the canvas for calligraphy,” she informs, adding that some of the paintings required several months of effort to complete.

From: March 27 to 31, 10 am to 8 pm 
At: Cache Gallery, Guru Nanak Road, Bandra (W).
Call: 26439641

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