The Cosmic Script
29th and 31st March 2015
To celebrate the recent publication of 'The Cosmic Script - Sacred Geometry and the Science of Arabic Penmanship' book by Ahmed Moustafa and Stefan Sperl, two events will be held to mark the launch of this groundbreaking work in Egypt:
Sunday 29th March 2015 at 6pm
The authors will give a presenetation in the Auditorium of the Main Library Building in Alexandria.
Bayt Al Sinnari, Cairo
Tuesday 31st March 2015 at 6pm
The authors will give a presenetation at Bayt Al Sinnari, Mong Alley, behind al-Saneya School, Sayeda Zeinab Square, Cairo.
These events are open to the public. Download a pdf of the Invitation Card. You may need Adobe Acrobat Reader to read or download this attachment. If you require Adobe Acrobat Reader this is available at no cost from the Adobe Website.
"This monumental work of Ahmed Moustafa and Stefan Sperl offers a comprehensive and convincing new account of the geometry of the Arabic script, accomplishing in the process a revolution at the intersection of art, mathematics, and spirituality. It is essential reading for anyone interested in Islamic art, calligraphy, and the beauty of geometry." --Carl W. Ernst, Kenan Distinguished Professor, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Visit 'The Cosmic Script' website
The Art of Writing
Tuesday 3rd May - Sunday 22nd May 2011
ArtForum Kurhaus Kolonnade
Kurhausplatz 1, D-65189 Wiesbaden, Germany
Held during the 2011 International Maifestspiele
This exhibition of calligraphy brings together the finest representatives of Asia, Europe and predominately, the Arabic world. It focuses on works from the Islamic world, the birthplace of many of the artists, including Ahmed Moustafa, whose identities and works are still virtually unknown in the west.
Following is a description of the exhibition from the organisers -
" For one, we want to work on the incredibly rich diversity, the varied forms of expression, thus the wealth of accomplishment of Arabian artists, including the predilection for the differing script and written forms. In this context, it is important to us to communicate the names of these contemporary artists to the West, and allow it to view the culture of the Islamic World as something apart from its tradition.
It is also important to us to illustrate the contribution that Islamic Calligraphy has made to universal art. It can be portrayed, on the one hand, as incredibly tender; as a canvas gives suffused textures and structure to a painting, similar to the abstract works that such European avant-gardes as Mark Tobey or Carlfriedrich Claus would achieve. On the other, there are great, emphatic characters and combinations reminiscent of the finest Asiatic artists such as Yu Ichi or Morita. These contacts, similarities, and stimuli that Islamic art has conveyed to other cultures are astounding, and have not yet been universally documented. We want to correct this oversight.
And the final aspect that interests us is intended as a “Universe of Characters or Symbols” and should emphasise one particular facet in contemporary Islamic art. And that is how various artists cautiously managed to break away from a predetermined canon of stylistic shapes and their approach to free painting by using astonishing means of expression - rediscovered time and again in the ornamentation of the Arabic World."
Lecture : The Science of Beauty in the Art of Islam
Wednesday 15 December 2010, 6:30pm
Ritz Carlton Hotel, Doha, Qatar
Dr. Ahmed Moustafa will be giving a presentation entitled "The Science of Beauty in the Art of Islam".
The presentation provides an illustrated elucidation of the important definition of beauty from the Islamic perspective in general and Arabic penmanship in particular. The question of how Arabic script became the principle medium to express the art of Islam will be addressed based on original sources from its birth to more recent times.
Considering Arabic script as the central theme of the presentation, its apparent and hidden characteristics will be pursued to reveal the different role of the script, not only as a visual means for subjective communication but also as an objective medium for the Revealed Word, making it worthy of being an abstract and sacred visual expression recapitulating the unity and multiplicity of Divine Creation. Multiplicity is manifest in the constituent elements of the script whose number, order and numerical value carry cosmic overtones in the inexhaustible diversity of their symbolism. Unity, on the other hand, is manifest in the single, integrated system of proportionality governing the formation of all the various letter-shapes, in accordance with a scheme first devised by the 10th century Wazir Ibn Muqla and further refined by the 11th century master scribe Ibn al-Bawwab. At the heart of the system resides the square dot from which all letter shapes can be shown to emanate in accordance with immutable geometrical laws which form the backbone of the system. The presentation will show that an in-depth understanding of the workings of the proportioned script and its aesthetic and philosophical implications opens a new vista not just on the tradition of Arabic penmanship but also on other manifestations of the visual arts in Islam.
Moustafa: Seeking An Immutable Essence
24 September - 17 October 2008
It is exactly 30 years since Dr. Ahmed Moustafa held his first exhibition
at the Mathaf Gallery in London. To celebrate this anniversary we
are delighted to announce an exhibition of Ahmed's work spanning
these years. The show will consist of a number of signed, limited
edition prints. Some images will already be well known, other works
less so, while a few have been produced specially for the exhibition
from original pieces. An original painting to be included in the
exhibition is entitled 'An Olive Tree that is neither of the
East or the West'.
Theophilus, Ahmed's biographer writes:
Moustafa is an exemplary and much needed link between Islamic
and European cultures. A conversation with him soon reveals the
ways in which his practical training and experience as an artist
and masterscribe, starting in Egypt and continuing to the present
day in England, have been of crucial importance in informing his
academic research into the scientific foundation of Arabic lettershapes.
Underlying these activities is his strong Islamic belief that
enables him to create images of the most intense complexity yet
which can have an aesthetic and spiritual appeal to those with
little understanding of their linguistic meaning.
from exhibition catalogue)
24 Motcomb Street
London SW1X 8JU
Tel: +44 (0)20 7235 0010
Fax: +44 (0)20 7823 1378
Artists * Five Faiths: Spirituality in Contemporary Art
the works of artists who interpret the philosophy and art traditions
that emerged from five of the world's major faiths Buddhism,
Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism. Sooja Kim, Stephen Antonakos,
Pamela Singh, Ahmed Moustafa and Helène Aylon are inspired
by the beliefs, practices or rituals associated with a faith. Many
of the artists also reinterpret the imagery and symbols that evolved
along with these traditions. Although each work is different, parallels
in their references to light, geometry, the nonduality of life and
meditation suggest relationships among the artists, the faiths and
their sacred arts.
The artists in this exhibition trace their origins to distant points
around the globe Egypt, Greece, India, South Korea and the
United States. Their works represent the international character of
contemporary art and the rapid diffusion of the faith traditions in
recent decades. By experimenting with new technologies and innovative
approaches in their work, they expand the vocabulary of art defined
by earlier generations of artists. With these new tools, the artists
define aspects of spirituality that respond to the rapidly changing
realities and challenges of contemporary life.
15, 2004 January 16, 2005
Ackland Art Museum,
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Campus
Tel: 001 919 966 5736
The Art of Ahmed Moustafa
Mapping the Unseen is a touring exhibition of Ahmed's work
which will be showing at the University of Hertfordshire Galleries
from 4th November 2004. It will be at this venue until 24 December
2004, then travel to the Cartwright Hall Art Gallery in Bradford,
opening there in February 2005, running until April.
4 November 2004 – 24 December 2004
University of Hertfordshire Galleries
Art & Design Gallery, College Lane, Hatfield, AL10 9AB
Tel: 01707 285 376
Fax: 01707 285 310
February – April 2005 (precise dates tbc)
City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council
Arts, Heritage & Leisure
Cartwright Hall Art Gallery, Lister Park, Bradford, BD9 4NS
Tel: 01274 431 212
Fax: 01274 481 045
The exhibition Mapping the Unseen offers diverse audiences from
all over the UK an opportunity to engage with Dr Ahmed Moustafa's
fascinating work. The exhibition will be in the form of a touring
exhibition which will travel to St Mungo's Museum in Glasgow, the
Catmose Gallery in Rutland, Leicester, the Cartwright Hall in Bradford,
West Yorkshire, and the UH Galleries in Hatfield, Herts. The exhibition
is the first of its kind in the UK to experience the work of this
fascinating artist and scholar in public galleries. It is hoped
that the meshing of Islamic calligraphy with elements of western
contemporary art found in Dr Moustafa’s art can now be accessible
to, and enjoyed by, a general audience.
In his informative essay, in the catalogue which accompanies this
exhibition, Jeremy Theophilus writes of the unity of science and
art in Islamic culture. A reading both of this essay and the texts
around Dr Moustafa’s international exhibitions suggests that
his scholarship is as much about science as it is about art. This
cross-fertility, combined in Dr Moustafa’s case with a deep
Islamic faith, recalls the unity of science, art and faith in the
medieval world immortalised by Umberto Eco in The Name of the Rose.
Indeed, the monk-scholars of the Benedictine abbey, which forms
the centrepiece of Eco’s book, held the art, science and learning
of the Arab world in very high regard.
There are pertinent lessons for people of all faiths, and those
of no faith, in the messages of spirituality, tolerance and beauty
contained within this exhibition. At a time of confrontation, much
of which has its roots in religious intolerance, it is perhaps also
worth noting that Umberto Eco’s thirteenth century monks were
interested in, and tolerant of, the art and science of Islam in
spite of their own faith’s confrontation with Islam during
December 2003 – 18 April 2004
St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art, Glasgow
30 April 2004 – 5 June 2004
Catmose Gallery, Rutland
than the Sword
April 2004 Dr Ahmed Moustafa was in Kuala Lumpur, to deliver his
lecture 'Art as a Catalyst for Spiritual Consciousness' at the Islamic
Arts Museum Malaysia, as part of the inauguration programme for
the 'Mightier Than The Sword' exhibition.
This exhibition was organised by the British Museum and the Islamic
Arts Museum Malaysia. Amongst the exhibits was Ahmed's work, 'Frolicking
Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia
Jalan Lembah Perdana
50480 Kuala Lumpur
T: +603.2274 2020
F: +603.2274 9745
Art, Science and Spirituality
Dr Ahmed Moustafa delivered a lecture at the Reconnecting Art, Science
and Spirituality within Emerging Planetary Cultures symposium - part
of the Melilla Festival of the 5 Cultures.
The symposium was held in July 2004 in the city of Melilla, northern
Morrocco, which represented an interesting fusion of diverse cultures:
the Hebraic, the Christian, the Muslim, the Gitane and the Hindu.
The format was a combination of closed discussions for the participants
and public presentations and conferences within the festival. A celebration
of multiculturalism, the "spirit" of the event endeavoured
to help build cultural bridges at a time of cultural 'tension', harking
back to the golden age of Al Andalus.