An 18-year-old French artist who goes simply by the name Savannah is generating attention for her Islamic calligraphy skills, and also for her initiative entitled ISLAM-The Ultimate Collection in which, along with her partner Veronika Gess, she designed a set of 1774 artworks and is gifting some artwork to museums around the world – including, she says, the Louvre Museum Abu Dhabi. Here’s her story.
“Veronika Gess and I wished that Calligraphic Art be perceived in a different manner. Through the elegant beauty portrayed in Calligraphic Art, many viewers will appreciate this type of art at its true value. We will donate 16 paintings to museums around the world. The 1744 pieces of The Ultimate Collection will travel from the UAE to museums around the world, for people to view.
This collection received a unanimous welcome even in Iraq, where a daily newspaper published ‘To Learn Wisdom…French publishes Peace across Islamic Civilization.’
I studied at the Tring Park School for the Performing Arts in the UK since 2009 and graduated in July 2013. I have lived in France, Switzerland and in England, a few among other countries, and I have always been interested in what happens on a financial, political or religious level in the countries I live in.
In France, the art I was ‘bathed’ in was classical art: Monet, Leornardo da Vinci, Degas, Cezanne and Renoir. When I went to the UK, I was exposed to modern art by Rothko, Haring and Warhol.
Through ISLAM-The Ultimate Collection, I wished to unite people who have differences, through art. I appreciate and respect different social and cultural backgrounds, and that’s something not typical of people my age
Calligraphic writings are extremely elegant and detailed, which contrast with the spontaneous, vibrant and colourful backgrounds on which they are placed. Calligraphic art was something I always wanted to do and coming to this region gave me the inspiration to go forward with my passion.
I wish to continue producing art, doing exhibitions and sell my art, and also have my own gallery and card shop. Another one of my projects would be to create the “Dubai Artist Fund” so artists could come from all around the world, produce and exhibit their works.
It is all about respecting one another and living in a harmonious way with our differences. I believe this is a true message of peace and tolerance.