Osman Waqialla

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Osman Waqialla
Birth name Osman Waqialla
Born 1925
Origin Rufa'a, Sudan
Died 4 January 2007
Occupation(s) calligrapher
Years active 1940s -2000s (decade)

Osman Waqialla (1925−4 January 2007), Arabic: عثمان وقيع الله‎, Sudanese artist, calligrapher.

Early life and career[edit]

Waqialla was born in Rufa'a, in Central Sudan, Al Jazirah state on the banks of the Blue Nile. He graduated from the School of Design, Gordon Memorial College, Khartoum, Sudan (1945). In 1946 received a scholarship and moved to England to joined Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts in London and finished his studied in 1949. Later he moved to Egypt, where he trained as a calligrapher under the master Sayyid Muhammed Ibrahim[1] (died 1994) at the School of Arabic Calligraphy in Cairo. Then he moved to Sudan, where he taught at the College of Fine and Applied Art in Khartoum at the beginning of the 1950s. From 1954 to 1964 he founded Studio Osman as a meeting place for artists and intellectuals in Sudan. At that time he received several commissions, including calligraphic designs for the first Sudanese currency, and he is considered one of the first artists in modern art movement in Sudan to explore calligraphy.

In 1967 he moved to England and worked as a consultant calligrapher to the firm of banknote makers De La Rue. His work has been exhibited in Africa, the Middle East, the United States and Europe, including the touring exhibition Seven Stories about Modern Art in Africa, which began at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, 1995. He Also exhibited in a landmark Group exhibition that year at the Barbican Art Centre, The Curve gallery, Signs, Traces and Calligraphy, curated by Rose Issa.

In 2005 he returned to Sudan, where he died of malaria on Thursday, 4 January 2007, aged 81.[2]