Peace, Love & Understanding and a little Art

I found out yesterday, that on October 25th, 2007, the Canadian federal parliament designated October as Islamic History Month. What an enlightened effort I thought, to counter prejudice and ignorance, weed out some of the mis-information that is so abundant out there and promote social cohesion. I couldn't help but feel a little pride, a warm and fuzzy tingling feeling, glancing over to my Canadian passport that day. So in honor of this occasion and in support of peace and understanding everywhere - I thought I would do a post on contemporary "Islamic art." (A subject, I am just starting to learn about myself).

The experimentation and use of calligraphy and the Arabic script is a powerful motif in the contemporary art of the Middle East and is often used to illustrate poetry, address issues of identity or to make a political statement. In some cases, the use of the script may have been inspired by the artist's own religious traditions, or cultural heritage. While others may have been influenced by European artists like Juan Miro, Georges Braque and Paul Klee, all of whom incorporated text into their work.

by Khalid ben Slimane (Tunisia). He studied pottery in Tunis, Spain and Japan.

"Untitled" by Nja Mahdaoui (Tunisia) 1984

"Contradictions of Joy" by Ali Omar Ermes (Libya) 1993

The Plate says "Al-Nar" meaning fire (1998)

Heech "Nothing" by Parviz Tanavoli (Iran) 2006

"Samira's Story" by Fathi Hassan (Egypt) 1995

The fourth and seventh images were taken at the Inscribed Meaning exhibition at the Fowler Museum in Los Angeles. The rest of the images are recent acquisitions on display at the British Museum in London.

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