Design is that construct of our perception that defines order, and lays a path that our eyes feel peaceful to trace. It adds up to what clearly distinguishes itself from the mechanical order of things, and what better way to express this inherent sense of design than by incorporating it into the universal means of communication – linguistic script.
Salva Rasool realised this instinctively when she was studying in the renowned Sir JJ School of Arts. And from earthen pots then to abstract calligraphic paintings now, her magical journey continues still, ever gaining steam along the way.
Conventional tools were a barrier – so she began creating her own, until it came to a point where paintings were made entirely without the use of brushes. Materials being a non-deterrent, Salva has worked with an array of mediums such as terracotta, ceramics, pottery, leather, metal, fabric, beads, sequence and much more, often using them in ways that are unfamiliar yet pleasant.
If one were to watch her work, you would often catch her staring at a blank canvas from a distance, visualizing multiple design variations at a rapid pace, interjecting each with a pre-conceived concept, and virtually overlaying the blank spaces with possible outcomes. Once an idea takes root – she believes in starting with the final product immediately, skipping the oft-considered mandatory rough work.
“Art is instinct – and instinct is instantaneous. If I were to postpone just a moment – it would be lost, never to be discovered in that exact form again.”
Today, Salva has incorporated her passion with eclectic vision, which is appreciated with unparalleled beauty. She works in tandem with interior designers and finds it symbolically challenging to create the most sterling vista of synthesized work. The enigmatic and mystical scripts of stylized Arabic calligraphy fused with abstract modern art have been appreciated and collected by art aficionados and are a part of important private collections in India, South Africa, the Middle East, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States.
For those who grasp the script – the work is exuberant brilliance. For those that are unfamiliar with Arabic, the paintings are pure art. Deflecting from the traditional, Salva has skilfully managed to exhibit secular and universal elements never seen before in this genre. The untrained eye relates to the myriad hues and textural vibrancy, while the precise ones catch the subliminally engineered curves and lines.
There is a breath of life each artist gives his or her work. A sense of identity corresponding with an ideal that appeals to the innermost constructs of our heart, unabashedly toying with our emotions in an open field full of possibilities. It takes some on a journey of hope and sets others on a path full of discoveries. We often lead our lives mundane on this planet, and yet a window appears in the form of our inner selves – a window on a wall, innocent yet powerful. It reminds us of the good there is, and of a power that binds us all. There are no scholars that can tell a man why something appeals to him. No person that can point out with accuracy why a dash of red can bring some people joy, while a black streak can stir a creative flame in others. This is why we love art – it is inherent. This is why we love text – it is inevitable. And this is why Salva Rasool’s work is magic – it bridges the gap between sub-conscious instinct… and everlasting love.
- 1985 Graduate, Sir J. J. School of Applied Art, Mumbai
- 2015 March 'ELAHIYA - Divine Words' at Cache Gallery, Bandra, Mumbai.
- 2013 May ‘SALVA RASOOL’ at Mulla Asghar Memorial Library & Islamic Resource Centre, Toronto, Canada.
- 2012 Nov ‘ELAHIYA - Divine Words’ at Nehru Centre Gallery, Worli, Mumbai.
- 2011 Dec ‘ELAHIYA - Divine Words’ at Experimental Gallery, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.
- 2010 July ‘ELAHIYA - Divine Words’ at Museum Gallery, Kala Ghoda, Mumbai.
- 2008 April - Islamic Centre of England, Maida Vale, London. Mahfil Ali - Middlesex, London. Dar al Tabligh, Northwood, London.
- 2016 April, 'Dubai Art Fair', Dubai
- 2015 December, 'Califest 2015', Pune
- 2015 December, 'Ahlan Pop Art Show', En Vogue, Jumeirah, Dubai
- 2015 October, 'Madinah Jumeirah', Dubai
- 2015 September, 'Warwick Hotel', Dubai
- 2015 June, 'Colors of Life', Viewing Room, Mumbai, organized by Cancer Patients Aids Association
- 2014 November, 'Dubai Art Fair', Dubai
- 2014 July, 'Emaar Pavilion', Dubai
- 2014 July, 'Emaar Downtown Tent', Dubai
- 2014 June, 'Street Spirit', Oxford Street, London
- 2014 June, 'Love Quran', Porchestor Hall, Bayswater, London
- 2014 June, 'Colours of Ramadan', Milton Keynes Shopping Center, London
- 2013 Sept, 2nd Annual Juried International Exhibition of Contemporary Islamic Art, Texas, organized by Islamic Art Revival Series.
- 2013 Jan, ‘India Revisited’ at Le Meridien, Kochi, organized by Mithu Basu, Dolna
- 2012, July 30 - 6 August, International Calligraphy Exhibition, Tehran. Invitation was at the behest of Ministry of Art & Culture, Government of Iran.
- 2012 Jan, ‘Blessed with Divinity’ at Jamaat Art Gallery, Colaba, Mumbai, organized by Pravina Maclai
- 2011 April, ‘A Brush with the Divine’ at the Viewing Room, Colaba, Mumbai, a group show organized by I Am Foundation headed by Sushmita Sen
- 2009 August, ‘Allah & Om’ at Tradition Atr Gallery, Juhu, Mumbai, organized by Zarine Khan & Bina Aziz 2006 August,
- 2006 August, Indian Artists Exhibition, World Trade Centre, Jakarta, Indonesia
BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS
- Featured in ‘Jannat - Paradise in Islamic Art’ by Mumtaz Currim. Published by Marg Foundation, 2012.
- Featured in ‘Following Muhammed – Rethinking Islam in the Contemporary World’ by renowned American scholar Carl W. Ernst. Published by Yoda Press, 2012.
- Featured in ‘Muhammed – Biography & Pictorial Guide to the Moral Bases of the Islamic Civilization’