On World Calligraphy Day, Indian artists create magic with strokes

This city-based community of calligraphers has been trying to create avenues for lettering enthusiasts to learn about this art

Published: 11th August 2022 07:22 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th August 2022 07:22 AM   |  A+A-

Calligraphy, World Calligraphy Day, Arabic, Caligraphy, Art, Artist

Image used for representational purpose only. (Photo | AFP)

Express News Service

Shivangi Pandey tried her hands at calligraphy—a visual art form of writing stylised letters with a pen or a brush amid the pandemic. It was simply a matter of chance that the 23-year-old picked up a brush pen and started exploring new techniques to depict strokes and scripts, eventually building a strong interest in the practice.

“I started with brush pen calligraphy; now I’ve been trying out other scripts. Till now I have been learning through online workshops and videos,” shared Pandey. The love for the art form brought this Jharkhand resident to New Delhi for the Akshar Mahotsav (Festival of Letters), an event meant to commemorate the occasion of World Calligraphy Day celebrated annually on the second Wednesday of August.

The day-long event was organised by The Calligraphy Foundation (TCF), a Pitampura-based organisation that works to promote and propagate calligraphy, in collaboration with the Department of Design, Delhi Technology University (DTU), Rohini, and saw the participation of about 200 calligraphers.

Both experts and amateurs from various parts of the country were present at the venue, eager to meet others interested in the discipline in order to learn a technique or two from them. “I was very excited to meet everyone because till now, I was living in a bubble. But now I have met others from the field. It was a great experience for us [people who love this art form],” added Pandey, who spent the day attending various practice sessions conducted by experienced calligraphers.

Mastering the strokes

While calligraphy has long been hailed as a practice for those with beautiful handwriting, it is yet to carve out a space of its own as an art form. “In India, there are several great calligraphers but there isn’t much importance attached to the art form,” commented professional calligrapher and member of TCF, Tanvi Saraiya (45) when asked about the importance of such an event.

Abhishek Vardhan Singh, the co-founder of TCF, chimed in, “There is no community for calligraphers and there is little awareness about the art. We are focused on awareness as well as education. Through this event, we also aim to promote regional scripts.” The Akshar Mahotsav was a neat attempt at drawing attention towards the art of calligraphy and the application of the form—as on wall murals, paintings, engravings, tattoo designs, etc. The event was nothing short of a celebration of calligraphy by means of an array of group activities.

The tools used—broad-edged pens, brush pen, or pointed pen—for various styles of calligraphy are distinct. In fact, each medium has a certain set of principles. Saraiya conducted a session on broad-edge calligraphy and touched upon Fraktur—an artistic, calligraphic hand of the Latin alphabet. Similarly, Gandhinagar-based calligrapher Ekta Chahar’s session was on copperplate script—a style of calligraphy done with a pointed nib. “Our attempt is only to make participants aware and inform them about the various techniques of calligraphy.

This should be like a starting point for them to take up the art form seriously based on what they resonate with,” shared Chahar. There were also a few demonstrations by Jaipur-based doctor and calligrapher Dr Yogendra Velichharla, and city-based renowned artist Lalit Maurya, among others. Apart from this, one could browse through the stalls set up at the event wherein participants could purchase the necessary tools to begin their calligraphy journey.


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