This piece was originally inspired by the idea of the medium, which is coins glued in a design on card stock. The concept for the design came from Blue Eyed Devil, which is a story of a man who converts to Islam in the United States, first embracing the religion tightly and putting all of his energy into his pursuit of spirituality before becoming disillusioned and apprehensive about the religion.
In one way, I attempted to translate the path of his story to the page; he begins his story in the cluster of silver nickels, then as he sets out on the path, he is smitten completely with the beliefs, as signified by the polished pennies. However, as he spends more time with the religion, he becomes disillusioned, which is represented by the gradual tarnishing of the pennies as the design continues before breaking up as he loses much of his faith at the end of his path.
I also intentionally included a stylized calligraphy of “Allah” in the design, using it to show how God is seen as a guide for life. His journey starts from the he at the end of “Allah” instead of the alef at the beginning to represent both his Western approach, which would read it from left to right instead of from right to left, and the fact that he is coming to Allah from a different direction than many Muslims.
The choice to use coins was to apply a sense of Americana to the design. I had originally intended to do something involving value, but in the end the coins’ value didn’t affect the design; instead they serve as a symbol of the world from which Knight comes from and their form together represents the world he is exploring over the course of his road trip.