Artists in Conversation: Soraya Syed

Yunus Emre Institute in London and Leighton House organised the second program in the “Artists in Conversation” series in which Turkey’s traditional arts and crafts will be promoted by major contemporary artists, the second guest was classically trained calligrapher, artist and filmmaker Soraya Syed.

In the program moderated by Zeynep Iqbal, Soraya Syed shared her project with the Leighton House Museum, her journey on calligraphy , classic calligraphy training in İstanbul and current projects with the audience.

Soraya Syed spoke of the details of the  “Hurriyay” project with visuals, which was realised together with choreographer Salah El Bragy, composer Nitin Sawhney and the Leighton House Museum,

Syed who studied at Central Saint Martin’s College of Arts and Design, told that she discovered the art of Islamic calligraphy during her year abroad in Egypt and went to Istanbul for classical calligraphy training in 2000. With Masters Hasan Çelebi and Efdalüddin Kılıç signatures, Syed was the first English artist to receive her Icazet. She spoke of how she sends her students to Istanbul both to learn the culture of and grasp the art at a higher level.

Syed’s also said that she seeks to push the boundaries of traditional Islamic calligraphy through a range of media from animation and dance to 3D holographic experimentations. She referred to her projects with Google, the British Museum and the Royal Shakespeare Company.