The formal basis of Sedaghat Jabbari's compositions is the free-flowing repetition of siahmasq, or rough draft calligraphy. Siahmasq does not rely on the textual content of words, but rather is the free application of colour guided by calligraphic techniques. As such, the result shares much with Abstract Expressionism.
Manuscript writing as the most practical form of calligraphy does not offer an artistic definition of space, since it is closely tied to illumination and lay outing. Naturally, the traditional calligraphy of Iran, even in its non-functional form, is not meant to be hung on a wall. Works of calligraphy demand close inspection to reveal delicate details and perhaps this is the most obvious difference between traditional and contemporary calligraphy. On the other hand, there are no limits to siahmashq with its unconstrained use of space and the abstract quality of its shapes and forms.
Jabbari's works have religious overtones. Through factors such as the choice of script, he imbues them with a mystical dignity. Jabbari mostly makes use of the thulth script, which has a religious significance. Some of these works clearly aim for subject matters such as the sacred ritual of circumambulation around the house of God, the Mecca, and Ascension.
Each letter is a visual symbol which has a sound equivalent. When the letters are placed next to each other in a formalistic manner and freed from their linguistic deference, the only thing that remains, especially for the natives of that tongue, is a series of sounds which have been lost ambiguously in the midst of color and the overall composition of the work. As such, calligraphy-painting is a visual work possessing sound and resonating in the mind of individual viewers or readers of that work. However, the choice of script, due to cultural associations, has a determining role in the tone or sound of the work. The use of thulth, for example, creates a religious atmosphere, and as a result, visually it reminds the viewer of Qur'anic recitation.
Sedaghat Jabbari is an award-wining artist and a prolific professor of art who has won many prizes for his outstanding works including:
Selected artist of the 3rd Biennial of Graphic Design, Tehran, 1989.
First prize at the 4th International Calligraphy Competition of the Islamic World, Istanbul, 1998.
Special prize of the 2nd International Painting Biennial of the Islamic World, Tehran, 2002.
Special prize winner of the 3rd International Painting Biennial of the Islamic World, Tehran, 2004.
Grand prize winner at the 12th Shilpakala Biennial, Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2006.