This summer I spent two months working as a Library Intern at the Prince’s Foundation Libraries, an experience that I got an amazing amount out of, and one the bonuses of working in an Art and Architecture library was to be surrounded by the beautiful traditional art produced by the students of the Prince’s School of Traditional Arts.
I attended the summer degree show, and admired the intricacy to be found in the art of geometry. Such patterns! Such straight lines! As a person who couldn’t draw a straight line to save her life, it never ceases to amaze me.
Bold as brass, I took the opportunity as an library intern, to introduce myself to the artist/students.
Mr Nizarali Jiwani explained square Kufi calligraphy to me, when I expressed my interest in one of the ceramic tile plates. It consisted of patterns of vertical and horizontal lines that appeared so modern to me, but in fact this form of Arabic calligraphy started in the 8th Century.
Surah: Al-Ikhlas Artist: Nizarali Jiwani
Farkhondeh Ahmadzadeh, who produced beautiful Persian Miniature paintings, and calligraphy amongst other things, was kind enough to read in the original language one of her calligraphy pieces (not the one shown below). It was a feast for my ears as poetry always tastes best in their original tongue.
Poem: I am, by Rumi Artist: Farkhondeh Ahmadzadeh
Interesting for me, these first two artists that I spoke to, both had former lives and degrees in the sciences and worked in that field. Nizarali used to run his own chemist before he retired, and Farkhondeh had been looking to take another course in a sciences when she happened upon the traditional arts MA course on offer at the Prince’s School of Traditional Art. Farkhondeh won the Jerwood Prize for Traditional Art this year.
Their life stories resonated with me as I didn’t realise until I was in my late twenties, that I wanted to be a librarian/ information professional!
It’s inspiring that it doesn’t matter how old you are, or what your background is, you can still learn something new, and produce something beautiful. There is no time limit when it comes to developing who you are as a person, and who you want to be, so long as you have the will and the passion!
A few more pieces below…