Inspired British Calligrapher’s Work on Display in Lahore

The media in the West has been carrying negative propaganda when it comes to foreigners’ safety in Pakistan, but people here are really friendly, said Ewan Clayton, a calligrapher and a professor of art, design, media and culture.

Clayton was talking to Daily Times at a reception hosted by Pakistan Calligraphy Artists’ Guild (PCAG) in calligraphers’ honour at the British Council on Thursday.

“I burst into tears of joy when I saw the great Islamic structure, Badshahi Mosque”, he said. He said that Lahore had its own ambiance, which was extremely fascinating and its glowing effect cannot be described in words.

PCAG Senior Vice President Ustad Irfan Ahmed Khan said that the PCAG had been trying to promote calligraphy in the country and over the last seven years calligraphers had been attending free classes in the art at Alhamra. The PCAG in 2003 organised a calligraphy exhibition in collaboration with Iran, he said, adding that another one was being held in collaboration with UK artists.

A calligraphy exhibition titled ‘And The Twain Shall Meet’ began at Alhamra Art Centre on Thursday. A large number of art enthusiasts attended the exhibition, which featured works of UK and Pakistani artists.

Governor Punjab Khalid Maqbool inaugurated the exhibition, displaying 55 artworks, out of which 25 were by British calligraphers and the remaining 35 by Pakistanis.

Khalid said that calligraphy had commercial and classic value and it was the best tool to bridge the gap between the West and Muslims.

The amount collected from the sale of artworks would be donated to the president’s relief fund, British Council Director Dr Iftakhar Elahi told reporters.

UK artists included Ewan Clayton, Hazel Dolby, Gaynore Goffe, Mary Noble, Tom Perkins, Stephen Raw and Edward Wastes and Pakistani artists included Ustad Irfan Ahmed Khan, Dabir Ahmed, Imran Sultan Ahmed, Amin Guljee, Haneef Ramay, Jamshed Qaiser, Athar Tahir, Ustad Ikramul Haq, M Ali Zahid and Ayaz Ali Syed.

Pakistani calligraphers displayed some of their best works and Ali Zahid came up Arabic, Persian and Urdu alphabets in ‘nastaliq’.

Jamshed Qaiser’s Surah Ikhlas, titled ‘Ecstasy of Hay’, Haneef Ramay’s variations in ink on paper and Sultan Ahmed’s Bismillah, a divine attribute, were some of the fascinating works on display.

Clayton’s ‘Come Whoever You Are’, Dolby’s ‘Names of Kimmeridge’, Stephen Raw’s ‘Well Begun Is Half Done and I Get Down on My Knees’, Dorest’s ‘Dancing Ledge’ and other works at the exhibition by UK artists were splendid. The exhibition will continue till October 18.

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