Freedom in Restriction: My Journey with Kufi

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In this Letterform Lecture, we will taste the visual power of a lost calligraphic tradition through one artist’s immersion in the early Arabic scripts broadly labelled as “Kufic." Joumana Medlej uses examples from her work to illustrate the respective qualities of the two great strands of this family, and how she harnesses its visual language to create compositions made of pure meaning. She will share how her journey towards an authentic understanding of the script revealed that it is defined not by an outside set of formal rules, but by more elusive principles that can only be learned through embodied practice, and in return allow greater creative expression.

Letterform Lectures are a public aspect of the Type West postgraduate program. The series is co-presented by the San Francisco Public Library, where events are free and open to all.