Ahmed Moustafa's calligraphic works visualize the text embedded in them. In the present work, comprising four panels, a line of poetry by Abdullah bin Al-Mu'tazz (c. 861-909) is arranged to resemble flowerheads in combinations of complimentary and harmonious colours.
Having originally trained as a figurative painter in the European tradition at Alexandria University, in 1974, Ahmed Moustafa went to London's Central School of Art and Design to study advanced printmaking, and later began to lecture at the same school on Arabic calligraphy. He went on to research the khatt al-mansub (proportional script) of the 10th century Abbasid calligrapher Ibn Muqla, and received his doctorate from St Martin's College of Art and Design in 1989. After 11 years of painstaking study, he revealed the exact geometric grid underlying Ibn Muqla's script, whose time-honoured formula has been followed for a thousand years.