Joumana Medlej

Joumana Medlej specializes in art based on Kufic script, but also makes deeply layered objects (see the Treasure Boxes) and publishes historical and instructional books. She makes her own inks, and one of her books provides guidance for doing that yourself.

My visual language is rooted in the artistic culture of my native Middle East: I shape the ancient Kufic script to create images made of meaning. Free from iconography, but not obviously legible, the work bypasses the mind to engage a deeper recognition. The geometric compositions refer us not to the world of forms but to a cosmic order; their architectural quality generates a space in which one is held in contemplation and stillness.

Two pieces by artist Joumana Medlej showing her use of Kufic script and self-made inks.

It’s all just amazing work.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

David Shrigley: Artist pulps 6,000 copies of The Da Vinci Code and turns them into 1984

Shrigley spent what he describes as “a six-figure sum” publishing his edition of 1984s. This is his justification for each book going on sale at £495, a price as eye-opening as a rat in Room 101, to use 1984 parlance.
A portion of the profits will be donated to Oxfam, who have also been paid for the hire of the venue and will receive the proceeds of specially designed tote bags merchandise.

“Four hundred and ninety five pounds seems like a kind of crazy price,” admits Shrigley, “However I have made an artwork, a signed print to go in it, which is based on a lot of the themes of 1984. So people are perhaps willing to pay that price for an original artwork of mine, where they might not be for the book, so I’ve sort of hedged my bets.”

Shrigley says it wasn’t about literary criticism, and I believe him, but also The Da Vinci Code is possibly the worst book I have ever read all the way through.