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“Ebro”: the art of color dances on water – our life – culture


Experts from the Department of Restoration and Manuscripts at the Sharjah Heritage Institute present proposals for water-painting, or what is known as the art of Ebru, as part of the activities of the 18th session of the “Sharjah Heritage Days”, to produce colored shapes printed on paper, for the purpose of using them to decorate manuscript covers and inside pages, after their restoration.

To implement paintings of this type, special materials are used to help color droplets float on the water, then move and shape them to determine the points of overlap and boundaries between the circles and lines of each color, in a wonderful artistic creation process that relies on aesthetic sense to produce abstract shapes, the stages of which are drawn by the amazement of the audience.

The engineer, head of the restoration and manuscripts department at the Sharjah Heritage Institute, Hasan Mamoun Mamlouk, gave a presentation on steps to rescue and restore manuscripts, leading to the process of decorating them with parchment paper, or the art of ebro, which he mentioned that its use began since the Seljuk era, and the interest in this profession continued to decorate manuscripts, in a manner appropriate. The delicacy of its leaves, using colors derived from expensive natural materials.

Mamlouk mentioned that among the materials on which the art of Ebro relies is the bitterness of the calf, because it works to prevent the overlapping of colors or mixing with water, as the artist works on the liquid painting, by moving and expanding the drops of colors on the water with a dedicated brush, made of ponytail. And folded in a certain way on a stick from the stem of the gori leaves Moza Zaal, an expert in the implementation of Ebro drawings, in a workshop she presented to the “Al-Ayyam” audience, showed the art of drawing on water and capturing color circles with paper, where the audience watched the paintings upon completion in a zinc pool, then the stage of capturing the shape drawn lightly and gracefully on the papers. Mamlouk explained that the profession of dealing with manuscripts, processing and restoring them appeared among Arabs and Muslims before their transmission to others, and pointed out that Arab experiences in this field are comparable to others, and that the ultimate goal of this profession is to preserve the human heritage of the manuscript, because it represents a link between generations, and it is acquired. Characteristic of tangible and intangible heritage at the same time. The body of the manuscript is considered tangible heritage, while the text contained in the intangible heritage represents what doubles its value and the importance of preserving it.

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