A unique exhibition fusing Arabic calligraphy with abstract art kicked off at the Museum Art Gallery, at Kala Ghoda
last Monday. It is Mumbaikar Salva Rasool’s first solo exhibition, and second exhibition in India.
Titled Elahiya, which means ‘Divine’ in Arabic, each painting contains large words or alphabets from the Koran, written in Arabic calligraphy, fused with abstract art. Many of the words used are different attributes of God in Arabic, such as Al-Ali, which means The Most High One and Al-Ghafur, The Utterly Forgiving One.
Rasool graduated in applied arts from the Sir JJ School of Arts, in 1985, and initially worked in advertising. She then concentrated on fine art after having children.
“The beauty about Arabic calligraphy is that it can be done in many different ways, with different kinds of scripts, and you can create your own fonts in a modern style. My father hired a private teacher who taught me Urdu and Arabic scripts when I was a child. People have lost interest in calligraphy and by fusing it with modern art, I am trying to make it relevant to every home,” she explains.
Each painting uses mixed mediums on canvass, deliberately using vivid colours.
“Mostly, the buyers are Muslim, as it is a piece of art, which is also meaningful for them. But non Muslims like it too, and some don’t realise it has Arabic calligraphy,” she says. “They just like the modern approach.”
The paintings for this exhibition range from Rs 8,000 to Rs 90,000. The exhibition ends today