Back to Alif

Nada Abdallah

Pseudo-Kufic inspired by the Maiolica of the 14th century, Paterna, Spain. Coated Aluminum. 18 cm x 40 cm.
Alifs, Same but not Similar. Stainless Steel Mirror, 238 cm x 118 cm.
From left to right: Transformed Alif, Mihrab Alif, Qairawani Alif. Ultraviolet Printing on Uncoated Paper. 70 cm x 100 cm.
Animated Alifs.
First and Last. Stainless Steel Mirror. 200 cm x 100 cm x 100 cm.

Alif is the beginning of everything, the first letter of the Arabic Alphabet and the first letter of the name Allah.

Transformation in the Arabic Script styles could be observed in the Alif of each script where, with different measures and the vertical elevation of the letter the signature of the style can be detected. The Alif acts as the symbol of the script through which the experts can discern the style and type of script.

The line starts with a dot and moves upward to form a vertical line, the Alif, in turns the letter morphs into different molds based on the script used. As seen in the earliest manuscripts, the Alif was short and bold, then later it was transformed into the elegant elevated vertical stroke. The transformation from east to west, and from past to present highlights the layers of development.

The artwork demonstrates the possibility of spawning new Kufic styles using the latest media, digital design and technology. It centers on the linear development of the Alif of the Kufic Calligraphic style and how current technology enables us to generate new selections of calligraphy landscapes and narrative forms. The artwork shows direction and further simplification of the calligraphic letterforms, working with different strokes and angles to highlight the sense of verticality.

Researcher, Graphic Designer and Curator
Nada Abdallah
Project link