Aghighi was born in 1968 in Qom into a literary and intellectual family. She was the pupil of the renowned calligrapher master Nasrollah Afjei, under whom she explored the infinite variations of Kufic scripture. The movement and symbolic potentiality of the calligraphic form is one of the key preoccupations of her work. It is not the intention of the artist to enclose written messages in her pictures, it is in fact the lack of a clear meaning which allows Aghighi to transcend the limits of language and enter into a realm of shape and form: a universal language of aesthetic communication which is freely accessible to the viewer.
While Aghighi was inspired by early Islamic writings, her purpose is not evangelical. Calligraphy as a concept becomes alluring because of its symbolic potentiality to represent everything from poetry and prayer to a simple conversation. The artist’s oeuvre draws from the rich tapestry of Middle Eastern culture to posit something new: the endless capacity of form to produce meaning.
Azra Aghighi’s works are currently in the permanent collection at the Islamic gallery of the British Museum and the Islamic Arts Museum, Malaysia. Her latest work has also been featured in an exhibition on Islamic calligraphy at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia.
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