The immersive 2×5 week project will run throughout two summer semesters running weekly workshops in the first semester (Tuesday 18th April- Friday 26th May) and biweekly workshops during the second semester (Monday 5th June- Friday 21st July). The programme will comprise of two types of Islamic art forms, namely Calligraphy and Marbling.
What is Marbling?
Marbling (Ebru) is a traditional Turkish art which produces patterns similar to smooth marble and other kinds of stone on to paper by spreading paints that do not dissolve in water with specific brushes on dense water that is thickened by a type of gum called tragacanth.
It isn’t known exactly when or where the art of marbling started but the early examples are from the 16th century in the Ottoman-Turkish era and spread from the East to the West. Like all the classical Ottoman arts, the art of marbling was one which was not taught by writing or explanation, but rather was a branch of art in which students were trained by means of the “master/apprentice” system.
The basic technique which, throughout all its historical variations, has never changed. The process is always the same: paints are made to float on the surface of water where they are manipulated into designs and then transferred to a sheet of paper. In order to make this happen, the artist must learn to control the behaviour of the paint.
What is Calligraphy?
Calligraphy is more than ‘beautiful handwriting’ or ‘ornate lettering techniques.’
Calligraphy is the art of forming beautiful symbols by hand and arranging them well. It’s a set of skills and techniques for positioning and inscribing words so they show integrity, harmony, some sort of ancestry, rhythm and creative fire.
In the Middle East and East Asia, calligraphy by long and exacting tradition is considered a major art, equal to sculpture or painting. Calligraphy is a visual art related to writing. It is the design and execution of lettering with a broad tip instrument, brush, among other writing instruments. A contemporary calligraphic practice can be defined as, “the art of giving form to signs in an expressive, harmonious, and skillful manner”.