“This new mode was not a matter of script metamorphosing into living forms which are also readable letters, but of using script to delineate such forms. Seldom had the flexibility of the Arabic alphabet been so tested.
This practice established itself only relatively late in Islamic art, when the taboos outlawing religious iconography had lost some of their power.
[Zoomorphic calligraphy] developed [..] in Ottoman Turkey, India and Qajar Iran [and] was known as early as 1458.”
All images are ©Hassan Musa from Sudan