My heart has become capable of every form

Shell palladium, shell gold and historical pigments on lac-dyed paper. 38x38 cm framed.
Based on Maghribi Qur’ans of the early 15th c. written in silver on purple.

Date11 April 2022

لقد صارَ قلبي قابِلاً كُلَّ صُورَةٍ    فمَرعى لِغُزلانٍ وَدِيرٌ لِرُهبانِ
وبيتٌ لأوثانٍ وكَعبَةُ طايِفٍ    وَألواحُ تَوراةٍ وَمُصحَفُ قُرآنِ
أدِينُ بِدَينِ الحُبِّ أنَّى تَوَجّهَت    رَكائبُهُ فالدِّينُ دِيني وإيماني

My heart has become capable of every form:
For gazelles a meadow, a cloister for monks,
For the idols, sacred ground, Kaaba for the circling pilgrim,
The tables of the Torah, the book of the Qur’an.
I profess the religion of Love:
Wherever its caravan turns, that is my belief and my faith. (Ibn Arabi)

For a Maghribi piece, I was inspired by these Qur’ans written in silver on dyed paper, and matched them up with a poem by the Great Sheikh Ibn arabi because it was his native script, as we can see from surviving samples of his handwriting.

In deciding what background colour paper to use, the vibrant clash of crimson diacritics over a dark red background decided for me, and led me to dye paper with lac for this piece.

The text was written in shell palladium so it wouldn’t tarnish.

The abundant use of colour in Maghrebi diacritics required the use of not only cinnabar and lapis lazuli, but also orpiment (yellow, for hamza) and malachite (green, for wasla).



A penny for your thoughts...