A Geometrical Illusion

In this particular exhibition we will start with the basis of the Islamic religion, the Qur'an. The people of Islam focus their daily lives and find meaning among the environment that surrounds them based upon the religious beliefs contained within the Qur'an. As part of daily lives the people of Islam throughout history have used a place of worship known as a mosque. The mosque would serve as not only as a place of worship, but also as a place of tranquility and sanctuary from the outside world. The exterior of the mosque demonstrates a mix of architecture inspired by a variety of cultures. The inside covered in inscriptions from the Qur'an and elegantly displayed mosaics. Each piece or tile from the mosaic separately pieced together to deliver a geometrical masterpiece of art. Through the first few images of the exhibition individual tile pieces will be shown and then tile panels. This is to show the transition of one singular piece into the greater design of a  work of art that will come to define the Islamic art culture. Toward the end of the is exhibition the tile panels will transition into complete mosaics.  Throughout the exhibition you will see the use of circles in a variety of the imagery, which in islamic culture stands, as a symbol of the infinite Allah. You will also find depictions of a fountain and the use of vines and shapes of flowers you might find in a garden. The imagery is used to show the tranquility that can be found in the Garden of Paradise that is known to the people of Islam. The Mihrab is very important to Islamic religion and will be seen at the end of this exhibition. The Mihrab is what indicates the direction of Mecca and the direction in which a Muslim should kneel and pray. The Mihrab is covered in elegant tiles to create a mosaic that seems to stand as a guardian to the praying Muslim who kneels unprotected from the obscurities of the outside world.

I chose this piece in particular because there was very little descriptions or details included so leaves room for interpretation. This is only a panel and a very intricately designed one with a lot of meaning. The color of light blue that encompass the panel and flows throughout seems to be flowing in an upward fashion and then falling back down as if fountain like. The center of the piece portrays a deeper blue surrounded by the shapes of flowers and circles making it seem as though this is where the deepest inner piece can be found. The images found upon the panel thrust you into a state of emotion where your desire becomes to immerse yourself into the garden and surround yourself with the infinite Allah. The darker coloration towards the top of the panel almost seems chaotic. I believe this to be a representation of the chaos created by the outside word. The tranquility of the flowing fountain and the Garden of Paradise, stand as the only protection between you and the chaos that lurks beyond its protection.
This particular piece of art is Islamic art at its best. Each piece of this Mihrab was cut and assembled like that of a puzzle and then set in mortar. The piece itself stands almost eleven feet high. The outer border is encompassed with what is known as one of Islam's prominent art forms, calligraphy. There are two more inscriptions, one that forms the peaks of the arch, and another set inside the frame. I did a little research on what these scriptures are and found that the outer border is actually scriptures from the Qur'an. The inscription on the interior of the Mihrab is an inscription that wishes peace upon the prophet and describes the mosque as a dwelling place of the pious. The intricate design stands as a symbolic piece of Islamic art. When I look at this work of art I am taken into a sense of peace by the variation of blues used to create this piece. The open doorway formed by the scripture lined arches to me seems as if it is depicting a portal and entry way into one of the holiest places of Islam. In the time of its creation the Mihrab would have actually been where a prophet would have stood and given a sermon. I wonder if this was because of the inspiration that Mihrab would have provided.
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