The reed Pen's tale by–Ali Jawhary

The Reed Pen’s Tale was the first New Zealand solo exhibition for Afghanistan born calligraphy artist, Sayed Ali Karam Jawhary (Ali). Held at The Depot Artspace, in the Vernacular Lounge, the sell-out exhibition featured 12 distinctive Persian calligraphic works.

Art for Change met Ali when he donated two beautiful artworks to the Where Shall We Call Home exhibition.  Ali was the first refugee brought to New Zealand by the Auckland Refugee Family Trust, one of the beneficiaries. So there was a lovely circular nature to the exhibition opening where Ali's brother played live music on the reed flute.

Ali has been practising Persian calligraphy for 37 years. He trained as a professional calligrapher at the Iranian Calligraphers’ Association in Tehran and came to New Zealand as a refugee five years ago. There are two predominant styles used in Persian calligraphy: Nastaliq and Shikasta Nasta’liq, both of which you can see represented in Ali’s work.


He was excited to introduce his culture and art to a new audience through this first solo exhibition.  

"It is my aspiration to introduce Persian calligraphy to the people of New Zealand. Not only is this my dream, but it is my responsibility to show people the richness of our history, culture and tradition, and to create greater understanding of who we are as a people, to get to know us as a collective culture – by this I mean the shared culture of all people of ancient Persian origin.” Ali said.

“Everyone has feelings; how they feel and think about life and love. Calligraphy is the way I tell people how I feel. The art of calligraphy allows me self-expression and is an important part of my identity and culture."

To see his latest works or contact Ali, follow him on Facebook.

a selection of the work

© 2020 Art for Change NZ

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