SORAYA SYED TO PREMIERE HURRIYAH AT THE LONDON NOUR FESTIVAL

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Calligraphic animation with music by Nitin Sawhney and dance by Salah El Brogy

London, 17 September 2013 – Soraya Syed, London based calligraphic artist is to exhibit Hurriyah for the first time, a pioneering installation which explores how calligraphy can complement the world of dance through animation. Hurriyah, meaning freedom in Arabic, is one of the featured exhibitions at the London Nour Festival and will run daily between 10am and 5:30pm from 5th to 31st October, 2013 at Leighton House Museum.

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On 20th October, Salah El Brogy, artist, choreographer and lead dancer at the award-winning show Vertical Road by celebrated choreographer Akram Khan, will perform at Soraya Syed’s Q&A talk. Accompanying music has been developed by distinguished British Indian composer and producer, Nitin Sawhney.

Concept development
Soraya Syed explains: “Hurriyah, or freedom, is a universal aspiring condition. The idea behind this exhibition is to experiment with the emblematic form of the word, so I have personified freedom to create a calligraphic animation partly inspired by dance, and specifically Kathak.”

“What intrigues me is to see the different ways people interpret the concept of freedom. Some relate to it as breaking free from constraint or the type of freedom that results from self-mastery or self-realisation, while others interpret it as an expression of independence at a societal level, politically or otherwise.”

Hurriyah, in her visual form, stands tall with a mast and looks forward as if a boat set out to sea with the wind in its sail. She starts off moored and then experiences a transforming event as a result of a storm. The animation sees Hurriyah unravel backwards till she ends up fundamentally as she began – a dot. She mutates, transforms and then heals. The end marks a new cyclical beginning.

Projected onto a custom-made, paper-like large screen, the calligraphic animation unfolds and dances across the surface revealing a short narrative open for interpretation.

The Hurriyah animation will be screened in the intimate surroundings of Leighton House Museum

The Nour Festival is run by The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and aims to reflect the best in contemporary art, film, literature, music and performance from the Middle East and North Africa. The Hurriyah animation is funded by the Arts Council England.

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