In one basic way of describing the cosmos, ‘Âlam al-Shahâda عالم الشهادة, the World of Seeing or “visible world”, is contrasted with ‘Âlam al-Ghayb عالم الغيب, the World of Mystery or “invisible world”. In modern language they are sometimes described as the Conscious and the Unconscious. We are familiar with the former; it is forever filling our senses, concealing from us a subtler and wider reality that we only taste when we sleep.
In this piece inspired by a dream, the “visible world” is spelled out in the foreground mandala, which is torn to reveal a whole other world behind it, much like a painted theater background that collapses to reveal the reality behind it. This impression is reinforced by the contrasting treatment of the two planes. In the foreground I deliberately dulled the blue and used golden gouache for the dots, instead of the usual, much more gold-like metal leaf. The background on the other hand, unstructured and boundless, is painted over aluminium which shines through the watercololour, providing a mysterious depth. The myriad stars are painted in shell gold 23.5ct and shell palladium, then burnished, in order to truly sparkle.
This is exceptional. Have been working on cosmology and had a few ideas on how to use “the word” to explain cosmological concepts.
Thank you! Yes, that’s what I’m exploring at the moment. Any particular concepts?