The Pen & The Sword

with calligrapher Soroya Syed

Project Overview

‘The Pen & The Sword’ is a holographic installation piece commissioned for calligrapher Soroya Syed by Bradford Museums. The work juxtaposes the old and the new – an antique pen case and 3D holographic technology. The title harks back to a saying attributed to the Prophet Muhammad ‘the ink of the scholar is more holy than the blood of the martyr’ and the more recent English adage that ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’. Using original pen and ink calligraphy compositions, Pen and the Sword animation draws inspiration not only from Cartwright Hall’s own pen case but also the Tree of Life motif found in the carved teak Jali screen in the museum’s collection.