Mumbai calligraphy artists plan to combat communal divide with art exhibition
Mumbai artists seek to bridge divide with unique Ishwar Allah Tero Naam exhibition, to prove paint is mightier than the sword
Salva Rasool does calligraphy in the Arabic script
Calligraphy contemporaries Achyut Palav and Salva Rasool are hoping to bridge communal divide through a forthcoming exhibition called 'Ishwar Allah Tero Naam'. The JJ School of Art alumni came together 18 months ago "for a concept that went beyond art". "We wanted to send a message that it is important to celebrate differences. We are such a diverse country, and through our calligraphy, we wanted to be the voice of artistic reason," said Rasool, who does calligraphy in the Arabic script.
She added that visitors may not know Devanagari and Arabic, the scripts used by the calligraphers, but that doesn't matter. "Many of the 40 works will be displayed with Allah and Om weaved into them, or Allah and Ishwar. These works are to be seen as artworks that speak a common lingo," says the artist who took "nearly 14 months" to complete her 20 paintings.
Achyut Palav's works are in the Devanagari script
United we stand
According to Palav, "Through this work, I want to fulfil my responsibility to society. There is a message in here — both Ishwar and Allah are the same. "The medium is the message through which we can bring transformation in society. I believe, as an artist, I need to go beyond selling artworks."
Besides filling in the fissures, Palav thinks such exhibitions create awareness about calligraphy too, which is much needed. "I was once asked by somebody what is the difference between sonography and calligraphy, as both have -graphy in it!" he laughed. Beyond that mirth though is the message that humanity must prevail in a world torn apart by fear and strife. The exhibition will take place at the Nehru Centre Art Gallery in Worli from February 6 to 12.
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