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Dhikr Wall Plaques

Anabia Jamshed

‘Dhikr’ – encompassing all religions - Signifying remembrance, recollection – a type of prayer associated with mystical orders – repetitive prayer (remembering the divine), known to be one of the most important rituals of the Sufi orders (turuq) – the ‘whirling dervish’ being symbolic of it all. I have attempted to represent their attainment of the hypnotic states and ecstatic trances – abandoning one 'snafs’, ‘ego’, and/or personal desires. According to Sufism, each letter of the Arabic alphabet is assigned a relationship between the divine realm and the human world, and the letter ‘Waw’, which is equal to number six, refers to al-‘aql bil-idafah (intellect in relation to what is below it) - takes just one stroke to create - shaped like a ‘bowed head’, like the sun’s millions of warm smiles on the waves of the water, one stroke in a swirl like a strand of honey, dripping or a whirl – like a whirling dervish. The entire theme also symbolizes ‘loving’ in sufi orders – emblematic of the sense of being spiritually elevated.

The Arabic word ‘Wadood’ which begins with the letter 'Waw' means Love and is – one of the attributes of the Divine. While working on these craft pieces, I let the ‘way of the heart’ take its course, instead of fixating on one particular arrangement in my mind. I wanted the idea of love, unanimity, harmony, and spirituality to be preserved in the most untainted form and hence the choice of the medium being raw wooden plaques with unsullied and untarnished bark bordering – a kind of a wabi-sabi appeal – which is an ideology primarily seeking refuge in the ‘imperfect’, ‘impermanent’ and ‘incomplete’, in short, the ‘perfectly imperfect’, centered around equality, humility, the tainted, rust, and patina. I have employed decoupage techniques, acrylic paints, and gold leaf foiling work to embellish these wooden plaques and then sealed the surface with waterproof varnish.

This is a mixed media home décor. It is a set of 2 with the size of 32 cm h x 14.5 w each.

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Painting is signed by the artist