African designs, £9.99
Height: 153.000 cm
Width: 123.000 cm
Presented by Omar Ali Ermes
ME OA 1992.12-15,0.1
Ali Omar Ermes, the letter kaf, ink on paper
To this day the versatile Arabic alphabet remains a source of inspiration to artists from the Islamic world. The artist 'Ali Omar Ermes (born 1945 and living in London) uses quotations from classical Arabic poetry, writing them out in strong colours with expressive brush-strokes. He describes poetry as the medium between the visual movement of the image, and the universe to which it belongs.
In this painting the letter kaf is written in bold with an inscription from a poem by the cAbbasid caliph al-Mansur (AD 754-75) commenting on the injustice of society. He uses the Maghribi script, the characteristic script of North Africa.
Y.H. Safadi, Islamic calligraphy (London, Thames and Hudson, 1978)
A.O. Ermes, Ali Omar Ermes, art and ideas: (London, Saffron Books/Eastern Art Report, Centre for Near East Asia and Africa Research, 1991)
B. Starr and J. Bosse (eds), Mightier than the sword, Ara-1 (Ian Potter Museum of Art, the University of Melbourne, 2003)