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Artist back home in Keighley after six years abroad

Sculptor inspired by Spain's heritage

William Jordan and some his work

William Jordan and some his work

William Jordan and some his work

Another piece of his work

First published in Local by

A sculptor has returned home after a six-year Spanish sojourn inspired by the country’s Islamic heritage.

William Jordan is carving Arabic Islamic script in marble slabs and has won commissions from as far afield as Dubai and Ethiopia. The scripts are essentially religious homilies but can be viewed as art for their own sake.

“Generally, we in the West know nothing about this art form,” said Mr Jordan, 63, of Long Lee, Keighley.

“It’s essentially calligraphy, but highly stylised. I was blown away when I saw it in the Alhambra in Spain.”

Spain was under Muslim rule from 711 to 1492 and the Alhambra palace was built in the 1300s near Granada.

It took the retired civil engineer months to perfect the art of free-hand carving in marble. “I want more people in the West to see its beauty,” he said. “In a way I hope it will bring communities together in mutual appreciation.”

And the art is not the only spin-off from Mr Jordan’s five years living in southern Spain. For back to Keighley comes his sculpture of the famous Spanish fictional characters Don Quixote of La Mancha and his long-suffering servant, Sancho Panza, along with Stone Men of Andalucia, which Mr Jordan constructed when he lived and had his studio in Almunecar.

His work can be seen at and at M&J Framers in Keighley.

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