Listen to this reed: a Persian calligraphy workshop

Persian calligraphy teacher works with students at tables with inks and paper

Didar is a Persian word meaning ‘to visit’. It is the moment when evocative memories transcend time and place. It is the excitement of hearing from the beloved. It is intimacy with a subject, and the anticipation of a new experience.

In this workshop, attendees experienced the Didar exhibition through the lens of the nay (reed), an element connecting Persian poetry, music, and calligraphy.

The reed is mentioned in Rumi’s poetry – “Listen to this reed, how it complains, it is telling a tale of separations” – referring to nay as a musical instrument. The reed is also used in calligraphy, the pen through which Persian poetry unfurls.

Attendees saw how traditional inks are made and used, practiced their own calligraphic techniques, and enjoyed Iranian refreshments in the gallery space.

Presented in partnership with Didar: Stories of Middle Eastern Manuscripts.