By Nouran Abdelrahman
سَلَامٌ قَوْلًا مِن رَّبٍّ رَّحِيمٍ “Peace, a word from a Merciful Lord”, one of the most soothing and harmonious phrases in the Quran. It has no intention but to transmit the main message of Islam: Peace and Love. And when I read this verse the first thing that came into my head was enlightenment, light, white, and pure.
Through the thought of these words, an image of what could express these beautiful terms within Islamic context appeared. The product of this image was a combination of ‘Islamic architecture’ features, and lighting effects. One of the most prominent contemporary artists, who influenced this art project, and also used lighting, was Julien Breton. Julien Breton is known for creating marvelous art pieces through a mix of light, photography, choreography and calligraphy. Breton, even though influenced by the Islamic calligraphy, implemented this technique to produce latin phrases. Similarly, I have decided to approach this art piece the same way. It was a mix of arabesque pattern, lighting adjustment, and mashrabiyya effect.
First, I drew the pattern and the verse digitally so that it would be later on cut. Second, after it was cut and stuck, I created a small raised platform in order to insert the light source properly. Third, the cube was mounted on the platform, and a black background was at the back that reflects the light, which is an image of the patterns. The room in which the pictures in was darkened in order to get the maximum amount of light and dark contrast.
The end result of this project displayed my portrayal of the Islam and peace symbolism. I chose the shape of the cube, because it is pure and clean. It also represents the most important worship place for Muslims, the Kaaba. The arabesque pattern played a great role in the light reflection. This penetration of light to the blunt and eminent darkness of humanity (outside) is saved by the pure and beautiful light if Islam. The verse also glimmers through dark and enlightens the hearts and paths of those who need to be guided through god’s path. The verse is a tranquil message that shows how beautiful, peaceful and artistic Islam is.
The purpose of this art production is mainly to spread and elaborate on a message that has been on and on repeated. Islam is neither terrorizing nor discriminating, in fact, no religion is. However, this false consensus that Islam is no peace religion has been reemphasized by the Western world. No religion is ever harmful; in fact, it’s a way to guide you to peace, love, respect and, of course, life. Hence, those who harm in the name of religion do not belong to it. As a person that experienced multicultural societies throughout the years, people are not virtuous from their religion but because of whom they are.
My name is Nouran Yehia, and I am Egyptian. I am a third year architecture student and currently 19 of age. I have lived in Dubai for nearly 16 years, and I absolutely love it.
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· "Stunning Arabic Light Calligraphy by Julien Breton." Colossal. N.p., 23 July 2015. Web. 01 Apr. 2016.