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).