Moustafa is an artist and scholar of international repute and now
a leading authority on Arabic art and design. Initially
trained as a figurative artist in the neoclassical European tradition,
and drawing his inspiration primarily from Renaissance masters, he
subsequently rediscovered his Islamic roots.
His work is now almost exclusively devoted to abstract compositions
inspired by texts from the Holy Qur'an. He has created an astonishingly
rich visual vocabulary through an innovative fusion of his skills
as a painter and as a master scribe in the tradition of Islamic penmanship.
Ahmed Moustafa has lived and worked in London since 1974 and directs
the Fe-Noon Ahmed Moustafa Research Centre for Arab Art and Design,
which he established in 1983. He has taught and lectured in many parts
of the world, and is currently a visiting professor at the Prince
of Wales's Institute of Architecture, London, the University of Westminster,
London, and the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Alexandria, Egypt.
Exhibitions of his versatile output, encompassing paintings, tapestries,
silkscreen prints, and stained glass, have been held in numerous major
The range of mediums in which his art has found expression reflects
the highly creative and productive relationships he has built up with
some of the finest craftsmen and technicians in Europe, notably the
weavers of the Pinton family studio in Felletin-Aubusson, France,
and the stained glass producers of the Derix Studio in Taunusstein,
Germany. His work is held in many private collections, prestigious
institutions and museums in Britain and Egypt.
In 1997, in recognition of his international renown in the field of
Islamic art, and his special position as a British Muslim artist,
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II presented a specially commissioned
composition by Ahmed Moustafa entitled Where The Two Oceans Meet as
a gift to Pakistan to mark the occasion of that nation’s 50th
anniversary. This masterpiece of multi-layered Islamic calligraphy
was presented by The Queen at an exhibition in the Pakistani capital
Islamabad, entitled "Traditions of Respect – Britain and
Islamic Culture" and sponsored by the British Council.
The Queen had certainly chosen well: the timeless piece reflects the
paramount importance that Ahmed Moustafa attaches to building cultural
bridges of mutual respect and understanding through the medium of
his art. This same theme of cultural bridge building was again evident
at the 1998 exhibition of his work in the Pontificia Universitas Gregoriana,
sponsored by the Altajir World of Islam Trust. It was the first exhibition
by a Muslim artist in the Vatican and a milestone in the development
of Christian-Muslim relations.
Ahmed Moustafa is now a consultant in Islamic art and design on many
private projects throughout the Middle East. He has designed several
new Arabic typefaces as well as corporate identity programmes and
logotypes for numerous organisations. The versatility of his prodigious
output can be gauged from the diversity of his projects: tapestries
for the Royal Pavilion, King Abdul Aziz Airport in Jeddah and the
Royal Reception at King Khalid Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and
the Exhibition Lobby of the Conference Centre in the Sheraton Hotel
in Doha, Qatar – the latter commissioned by the Qatari government
and measuring a gigantic 10m x 5.2m – and the National Bank
Works by Ahmed Moustafa are also held in The St. Mungo Museum of Religious
Life and Art, Glasgow; The Contemporary Islamic Collection, British
Museum, London; The Oriental Department, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford;
The Museum of Modern Arts, Alexandria, and the Museum of the Faculty
of Fine Arts, University of Alexandria, Egypt. Many of his works are
also in the hands of private collectors all over the world; in the
UK, Europe, the Middle East, the US and Australia.