Sound & Silence
(This is a past event and is no longer running)
Sound & Silence is a new immersive and interactive show by calligraphic artist Soraya Syed using digital and physical elements to juxtapose the materials and practice of Arabic calligraphy with a broader humanitarian relation to nature.
Soraya Syed is a classically trained calligrapher and artist dedicated to bringing the ancient art of Arabic calligraphy into the 21st century through film, dance, VR, and three-dimensional sculptures. Her pioneering work has been exhibited across Europe and the Middle East and is prized by collectors worldwide.
Sound & Silence by
Scenography and Digital Design
Alice Walters & Tuyết Vân Huỳnh
ABOUT SOUND & SILENCE
Calligraphy is a quintessential part of Arab culture, an artform spanning the spiritual and material, the visual and the verbal. Soraya Syed dives into the essence of her practice: the geometry of Arabic letters and their connection to the human form. Through a display of photographic images and a series of ink on paper artworks and sculptures, the calligrapher draws an unprecedented connection between the human body in contortion and calligraphic form.
Her sculptures are formed from white Carrara marble dust from the same quarries that provided Michelangelo his single block of stone for the Pieta. White Carrara marble dust is a basic ingredient of the ink Soraya uses, the innovative formula specially blended for her by artist and ink-maker Jason Logan. (The Soraya Syed-Jason Logan collaboration is documented in film The Colour of Ink released later this year). Marble dust is not traditionally used in liquid form instead, the quarry’s marble is renowned for being the source for Michelangelo’s sculptures.
The calligrapher invites the audience to look differently at the materials she uses in her practice and to engage with them directly. A mesmerising installation with magnetite ink suspended in water, invites the audience to pick up a magnet and move it around creating calligraphic-like shapes that throw shadows, allowing the visitor to become the artist.
The experience concludes with a magisterial calligraphic monolith that is at once a centrepiece and backdrop, with light and projection changing the space within a circadian rhythm and a soundscape of natural frequencies that induce a sense of contemplative serenity.
In Sound and Silence, Soraya Syed brings home the power of Arabic script and its enduring resonance and relevancy.
Fri 30 Jun; 6:30pm
Soraya Syed will discuss her new body of work in Sound & Silence with Sussan Babaie, Professor of Islamic and Iranian Arts at The Courtauld Institute of Art. Click here for more information and to book.
As well as the exhibition, there is also the opportunity to enjoy a hands-on session with Soraya Syed inspired by Sound and Silence. The workshop is hosted by and will take place at Cromwell Place on the 23rd and 24th June. Click the dates to book and for more information.
Sound and Silence is supported by Tuyết Vân Huỳnh and the National Theatre’s Immersive Studio
Made possible through a grant from Arts Council England