The sea ebbs and floods

Gallnut ink, shell gold and historical pigment on madder-dyed paper. 42x58cm framed.
Made in Eastern Kufi in the style of 11th c. Qur’ans from Khurasan.

Date3 April 2022

للبحر مدّ وجزر
وللقمر نقص وكمال
وللزمن صيف وشتاء
اما الحقّ فلا يحول ولا يزول ولا يتغيّر

The sea ebbs and floods, and the moon wanes and waxes, and time has summer and winter, but the Real doesn’t alter or pass away or change. (Gibran Khalil Gibran)

My model for this was classic Eastern Kufi, particularly manuscripts featuring these striking patterned margin boxes. This style uses more diacritics than any other, and for the first time they are in the familiar “modern” form. It’s also notable for its use of large gold dots to point the letters.

Eastern Kufi often has a warm background, whether because the paper is dyed or because it has darkened with age (or both). I dyed paper with madder to replicate this feel.


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