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Power of Ink: Gujarati Calligraphy

Gujarati is one of the most spoken regional languages of India. This language has its origin from old Indian languages such as Brahmi and Prakrit, and the script of the language is derived from Devanagari script. Its roots can also be found in the Jain manuscripts. Essentially, it was a script to keep the account, and therefore, the Gujarati script has a very distinguished style. This workshop mainly focuses on the system of writing, alphabets, vowel signs, and basic calligraphy strokes. The angle of the nib is exactly opposite to the Latin script.

The workshop will encourage the use of traditional Kitta (reed/bamboo pen) for writing, which will give an authentic feel to the letters. The session will begin with traditional Gujarati calligraphy and take a look into the modern world. There are special characters and symbols, such as conjectures in Gujarati script, which are interesting to learn and explore. The Gujarati language is written exactly as it’s spoken, so there is a relationship between a letterform and its sound. With the practical exploration of calligraphy, there will be interesting narratives about this script and its history. 

Why this Workshop:
This workshop helps participants to understand an Indian regional language and its script. Every regional language has its own specialty and uniqueness. Through this session, one can learn about letterforms and symbols of the scripts, which can be explored as an abstract art form in future work. The language is the best medium to understand the culture of the place, its people, their rituals, folk tales, and future aspirations. The calligraphic expression of the language gives a distinct visual form to the imagination of the learner. The calligraphy of the regional language also helps to develop typography for future use.

Prerequisites and materials/equipment needed:
—Kitta/reed pen/bamboo pen/angled chiseled marker
—Indian black ink
—100 gsm bleed proof paper in A4 size

Workshop Outline:
—Introduction to the Gujarati language
—Basics of Gujarati calligraphy
—Essential Gujarati calligraphy strokes
—Letter formation (vowels and its sign, consonants, conjectures)
—Key features
—Word and sentence formation

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Speaker

Hiral Bhagat

Calligrapher Own Co.

Hiral Bhagat has completed a five years' diploma in Applied Art from C.N. College of Fine Arts. After finishing her diploma, she worked for several graphic design firms in Ahmedabad and Mumbai. Bhagat gained an inclination towards calligraphy during her college days, and later had an opportunity to learn calligraphy in Mumbai. During her training period, Bhagat had participated in various workshops, demonstrations, and calligraphy group exhibitions in Mumbai. While doing so, she realized to do calligraphy in her mother tongue. Bhagat is exploring Gujarati calligraphy on her own. Now, her goal is to take Gujarati calligraphy to an international level as well as national and regional levels by exploring various aspects of language. Her keen interest is in looking at calligraphy as art form rather than just a form of writing. Bhagat's work was selected for various national and international exhibitions and events.