Arcanum خفي

"The beginning of contemplation
is vision by means of the heart;
then comes nearness of the heart;
then comes finding by means of the heart,
then comes direct observation by means of the heart;
then comes fading of the heart in the Manifest;
and beyond that nothing can be said."
— Al-Ansâri

Acrylic on wood, 40x40 cm.

Date10 May 2017

The Arcanum is the fourth of the Lata’if, the “subtleties” of Sufi psychology also known as Chambers of the Heart. The original word for it, khafiy, means “hidden, concealed, unknown, unseen, invisible”. Its colour is black and it is associated with fanâ’, the extinction of the self.

Over a deep matte black, the design is painted in black which I made slightly iridescent: from certain angles, or under certain lights, the panel appears to be a plain black square, out of which the design appears, ghostly, as one moves.

A post shared by Joumana Medlej (@joumajnouna) on

I’m now planning a large piece taking this design further.

Creation process:

A penny for your thoughts...