With having always been interested in the many expression's of art and a revert to Islam still having the passion to soak up any piece of information i can get about my religion I had to watch "The Hidden Art of Islam". It was shown on BBC4 last Thursday (still available on iplayer if you click the link), presented by Rageh Omaar who you may remember from "The Life Of Muhammad" (SAW) last year. I thought the beginning was a little slow but after about 20 minutes it picked up and overall it was a great show. The only thing which put me off it was the lack of "peace be upon him"'s or "salallahu alayhi wa salam"'s when mentioning our respected Prophet Muhammad SAW. I also noticed him trying to make thing's 'darker' than they need to be. Yes, we do not portray our Prophet's or Allah SWT in caricature's out of utmost respect, there's no need to make a drama over it, but afterall it was aired on the beeb and i guess they can't show anything about Muslim's without adding the depressive propaganda theme to it, it's a good job the true beauty of Islam shone through. :)
I enjoyed learning about modern Islamic art over the older illustration's however i appreciate the history behind them. The show also covered the Hajj exhibition which is open in London at the moment in the British Museum. The exhibition display's an array of artist's using magnetism, stamps, needle work and more. The MICA (modern islamic and contempory art) gallery also had an appearance which is how i found out about our sister Nurjan who work's with swarovski crystal's and other types of media to create such pretty, sparkly, eye-catching pieces mashallah.
It was amazing to learn more about The Quran too, not just the content behind the chapter's but how each word is presented in Arabic calligraphy and that each part is measured mathematically to fit the line neatly and perfectly. Subhanallah, The Quran has endless wonder's, a true sign of our Creator, one God, Allah Subhana wa tala. It also covered the geometry, symmetry (the only section of maths i like!) and arabesque used to create Islamic art masterpieces, old and new alike. If you enter a mosque one of the first thing's you notice would be the art and decor. Go to one of the larger more known mosque's and you could be standing there for a good while whilst it swallow's you up. It is true art, and a real show of talent. I actually use the blue mosaic of the dome of rock mosque as my cover picture for my Facebook! It's just beautiful, and my laptop wallpaper is of the declaration of faith calligraphy that you see on the Saudi Arabian flag with a modern feminine twist with floral/henna type design around it.
If you missed it and have an interest in art or Islam, you won't be let down!
Here are some other great pieces of inspiration under the umbrella of 'islamic art':
|Stunning work by Saudi artist Ahmed Mater (featured in 'The Hidden Art of Islam') inspired by pilgrims flocking to Mecca. It’s actually a magnet attracting thousands of iron fillings.|