While some may argue that illustration and calligraphy are dying arts, emerging talented artists paint a different picture (mind the pun).
Opportunities to get arty are plentiful and very much at your doorstep, as we discussed in a previous blog, but what types of art can be found in the UK and what are artists getting up to?
Lateefa Spiker creates striking geometrical imagery – strong, calming and hypnotic all at the same time. Although based in Hackney, London, the artist grew up in four countries and explains that she would not tie herself to one place. She said:
“I try and let my soul speak through the abstract forms and colours of my work. I think art can be a form of soul to soul communication, beyond religion, culture or anything else that can divide people from our common humanity.”
After going through the much-loved British art classroom tradition of staining paper with coffee, Yaseen began his experimentation with other ingredients at home including turmeric. Now he creates astonishingly charming portraits of influential people from across the world out of edible items like Smarties, Vimto, marmite, jam and milk.
Originally from Manchester, there’s not much the dental-technician-turned-artist can’t do. His detailed drawings are powerful and he dabbles in mixed media work, as well as pottery collaborations.
Maaida Noor is a contemporary artist who does not shy away from traditional methods. Specialising in established calligraphy methods, Noor uses verses from Islamic scripture to produce artwork evoking peace and positivity.
Her aim is to “invite contemplation and engage the viewer by identifying concerns about humanity, hope and our destiny and thus, by posing these questions; encourage dialogue with the work.”
Among other key clients, Maaida Noor worked with Jo Malone in 2014-15 and provided bespoke Arabic and English calligraphy services in Selfridges, Harrods and Sloane St, London. She also takes on new students!
Established graffiti artist Mohammed Ali, otherwise known as Aerosol Arabic is from Sparkbrook, Birmingham. He’s been busy inspiring people for a while, teaching kids about spray cans at schools in the UK – and even giving talks at places like the Vatican! The unique creative space he created in his hometown, The Hubb, has just made a comeback. He said:
“There are not many spaces in our city where people of different backgrounds come together in their own space. We had people from the suburbs and Solihull saying ‘you know what I’ve never been to Sparkbrook before’.”
Ghulam Farid Rafiq
Our podcast guest next week is the talented Ghulam Farid Rafiq, whose calligraphy work was recently featured at Craven Museum and Gallery in Skipton, Yorkshire. Ghulam’s specialism is inspired and focused around the ‘Burdah’ poems, traditional Islamic poetry works which praise the Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him).
Having engaged with this art medium for 15 years, Ghulam is the Leeds Calligraphy Society’s resident calligrapher. He is also the instructor for Arts and Calligraphy for Al Buruj Press, where he leads calligraphy workshops and courses around the UK.
We’re sure it’s going to be an enlightening show with such an artistic candidate and hope the artists we’ve featured here have broadened your horizons and your brushstrokes!