Book: Kameel Hawa

A Word Art !

Animation of lettering and thoughts

If anything has frontiers it is art; if anything has no frontiers it is art. Take my ‘word art’ for it.

How much art goes into the designing of a “word”, one can not always tell for sure. This book, or if you wish to call it sample portfolio, is a compilation of designed Arabic words that do not belong to classical Arabic calligraphy، nor follows any set parameters or rules.

Today this kind of work is called ‘Word Art’. Though it has gained popularity, this term is yet to be better understood.
The artworks in this book are of two types: The first one is spontaneous, drawn with free hand ink strokes; the second – more studied and less spontaneous – intends to be a representation of an object, an idea and sometimes a person’s name. In the past, Arabic calligraphers executed works of a similar nature: classical compositions of words have taken the shape of a lion, a bow and arrow, a ship and others. Here, some of the works can be seen to follow a similar approach, only in modern forms and contemporary styles. The letters are born out of plain and geometric shapes, as simple as shapes can be. Similarly, simple hand strokes eliminate unnecessary details and aim for strong and forceful expression. Both abstract forms and free hand strokes, are a distinguishing feature in modern art.

Stating that these works belong to modern forms of expression is not in any way superfluous, because they belong to an age, as much as they belong to a cultural tradition. Here also the ingredients cannot be easily categorized. Few of the samples included are not words, but drawings with the intension of resonating the mood of previous compositions. And one of the names (Esayi) is in Latin letters – and not Arabic – illustrated in watercolor.

Excerpt from Kameel's blog