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 “Calligraphy is the art of writing beautifully. It is the written letter, molded by one’s concept of ultimate grace and perfect balance, a personal artistic expression as unique as the lines on the fingertips with which one holds the pen. It places one’s soul at the tip of the pen for all to see.” (M. Drogin, Medieval Calligraphy)

Elizabeth, who just came to have fun, is finishing a beautiful piece of art with some calligraphy handwriting. Barnabas, 12 years old, is here with his father Joati, both are painting a background of orange on a canvas ready for the final calligraphy strokes. Priya is finalising the blue border of a piece as beautiful as she is, where the word ‘yoga’ is inscribed in gothic letters on a sharp red background. Adil is into the eclipse of Pink Floyd today, finishing one piece, starting a couple of others, all his works reflecting the experience of an already accomplished artist.

These people were a few of the 17 who animated Kalakendra this past weekend. Part of a calligraphy workshop which lasted for two days, they were all busy in the making of beautiful letter forms, trying with attention and consciousness to arrange those letters into visually harmonious relationships.

At the head of the group, Indian calligrapher Rajeev Kumar, just arrived from New Delhi, was teaching this ancient art of writing that is not only experiencing a sudden revival in the art world but thriving even in this age of digital printing.

Mona Pingel of Arpanaa (a City Service) met this well known artist of Delhi 3 months ago during a visit to an Hindu/Persian exhibition in Delhi Haat. Fond of calligraphy herself and touched by the free flowing technique of Indian calligraphy versus the more rigid Western technique, she decided to invite him to lead a workshop.

What made this workshop exceptional was not only the high standard of the teacher, who exhibits and sells all over the world, but his background and his relationship to science and spirit.

Before starting professionally as a calligraphy artist, Rajeev was first a mechanical engineer, then a design consultant. In 2012, he was inspired to commit himself totally to the arts by a 24-foot abstract calligraphy painting that was exhibited at the India Habitat Centre in New Delhi. According to him, he owes it all to his study of mechanical engineer. Those 4 years allowed him to take a scientific approach to art, transferred his powers of reasoning into an analytical entity, broadened his mind from finite to infinite and, above all, made him believe that all is possible in just the excitement of the sharpness of a stroke.

No need to be scientists or Zen monks in monasteries meditating for hours to produce, in a single stroke, the meaning of the world! Do look out for the opportunity to admire the beautiful amateur art pieces that are the outcome of this unusual workshop in an exhibition coming up soon in Kalakendra.

Chana Corinne Devor for AVart Service