Our mother taught us calligraphy at a young age and in essence instilled a deeper sense of culture within us, to understand the rich depth of our heritage through history, philosophy, literature, poetry, and music. Always retaining humility in our growth and development through the pretext of self-knowledge, awareness and understanding.
We studied classical Art and Engineering at University and this enabled us to make calligraphy a hobby that we completed within our spare time and before starting I.Calligraphy. We would always make canvases similar to our current work, as gifts for family and close friends. This is the actual origin of how I.Calligraphy began. We made a calligraphy piece for mother’s day and a close friend saw the work that we made for our mother and advised that we take the hobby more seriously and consider donating it to raise funds for charity.
Art is a universal language and as medium of expression, it allows us to understand a story without words. If there is a profound narrative that reflects the human condition but still retains a personal meaning. We would like to believe that the core of our work is a means to bring us closer to God and convey the beauty of our faith. Morally, ethically and spiritually speaking, the story behind each canvas resides in reflecting our own akhlaq (practice of virtue, morality and manners in Islamic theology and philosophy) in meaning.
Art through an Islamic conception has always been progressive, evolutionary and developed on the foundations of the pillars that were set by those before. Our ancestors never looked upon a specific period of history within the past with nostalgia and tried to repeat it identically. They used it as a pretext for inspiration to develop their own identity.
A pragmatic example of this would be the diverse beauty of mosques all across the world and how the choice of environment reflected the design of the mosque itself. The choice of material and technique is used intentionally to preserve this style of craftsmanship and create bespoke artisan canvases.
The style of calligraphy itself is very versatile and has been called an amalgamation of classical, contemporary, and modern. The story behind each bespoke artwork, tries to entwine the past and present into one outlet of expression.
we did not just wish to replicate calligraphy that we saw many artists complete, but personally reflect the edifice of our faith within the work. Each canvas is a personal narrative of universality; it paints a story that is timeless and shows our common humanity. And even though the essence of our work rests upon our faith, it is not intended to only appease a specific demographic but express the plurality and universal dimensions of Islam.
Prior to I.Calligraphy we have been mentoring on weekends for the past 6 years, working with children from disadvantaged backgrounds, through community based projects, and charity work in our spare time. Charity is one of the 5 pillars of our faith. And we know at the at the end of life we will not be judged by how many degrees we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done. We will be judged by “I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in.”