March 10, 2012
This geometric mosaic was inspired by The Topkapi Scroll written by Gulru Necipoglu which dealt with geometric ornamentation in Islamic art. A pattern of blue squares which border either violet and yellow or violet and orange checked squares, this work is a study of color and pattern. Both geometric design and mosaic have appeared in many iterations in Islamic art and in this case I have combined the two to create this design. It is a representational work depicting the intertwining of the zahir and the batin in our human lives. The lighter colors, yellow and orange, represent the light of Muhammad (nur Muhammad), exemplified in the Qur’anic text “God is the Light of the heavens and the earth; the likeness of His Light is as a niche wherein is a lamp – the lamp in a glass, the glass as if it were a glittering star –kindled from a Blessed Tree, an olive tree that is neither of the East nor of the West, whose oil well-nigh would shine even if no fire touched it; Light upon Light; God guides to His Light whom He wills. And God strikes similitudes for man, and God has knowledge of everything.” (24:35)
They are surrounded by the blue squares which represent the cruder material world. The different shades of blue, violet and aqua represent the variety of experience in the world and the myriad facets of Allah’s creation. Peeking through this are expressions of the divine represented by the fiery yellow and oranges.