‘Persian for beginners’ 1997, is a series of 15 calligraphic drawings Forouhar created as part of the German-based artist collective Fahrrad Halle. An important formative work in her oeuvre, it heralded her interest in the graceful eloquence of Persian calligraphy as not only a language of communication but also as an aesthetic discipline and space of exploration. In each of the drawings, Forouhar uses the calligraphic strokes and dots that make up the Farsi (Persian) word for a particular animal, to create the image of that animal.
Writing about this work, Forouhar likens the ambiguity around whether we are looking at an image or text to the feelings of affiliation and strangeness she felt when labelled as ‘the Iranian’ among her German colleagues. The visual elegance and simplicity of the drawings beautifully captures the act of trying to communicate in another language and across cultures, beginning with simple things and the importance of non-verbal and written modes of communication for carrying not only meaning, but feeling. Ruth McDougall
Artist book in limited editions
produced by Rose Issa Projects