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Callout for participants in Quranic illumination project in Bradford

28 April 2022

How is the traditional art of Quranic illumination still relevant today? Discover for yourself and create your own illuminated artwork

Quranic illumination workshop with Mahmud Manning

We have an exciting opportunity for people in Bradford to learn and practice the application of this traditional art form. The project will explore how Quranic illumination connects us to Muslim heritage but also how this tradition can speak to us in a 21st century, British context. It is a chance to reflect, beautifully, on where we are right now and where we see ourselves going, both as individuals and as a collective.

Working with Visual Fine Artist and Illuminator Mahmud Manning, participants will be guided over the course of six months to produce an illuminated double page using gold leaf and natural pigments on paper. Classes will run twice weekly through this period (Saturdays and one weekday evening) and culminate in an exhibition at Cartwright Hall in 2023.

No experience necessary! Get involved

To begin, we will be running a series of taster workshops for people who want to know more about the project in June.

To find out more, register your interest here 

What is Quranic Illumination?

Quranic illumination is a term that is used to describe the art of decorating Quranic manuscripts through the application of gold or silver. Literally to “light up” or “enlightenment”, the tradition of illuminating manuscripts exists across many cultures and religions; Islamic illumination dates back to the 10th century. In the Arabic, Turkish and Persian languages the word for this practice is Tezhib/ تذهيب.

“We are inheritors of a Turkic, Ottoman and Moroccan Maghrebi mix. Within Britain, where does that leave us? The work is reflecting the social dimension of the people, so they represent the whole collective. It’s really about access to teachers, can it be passed on, can it be taken up by others?” – Mahmud Manning, Visual Fine Artist and Illuminator

Additional info

This project does not require any previous experience or skill, but a desire to learn and commitment to the project and the time involved are necessary.

Cost: £100 – taken as £50 at the start of the project and a second instalment midway through. This is to cover the cost of some course materials which participants get to keep. If this is a barrier for you but you would like to be involved, please let us know by emailing



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