The Art of Islam



Yesterday I finally made it to the "Art of Islam" exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW. Since it finishes tomorrow the place was totally packed with pashmina-wearing arty types! My ARIS (Arab and Islamic Studies) class got taken along last week by my lecturer but I was too busy with essays to go; I'm still disappointed because our tangent-loving lecturer would be able to explain everything. It is really a very exquisite collection... more so than anything else I saw in the museums in London or Paris. Aside from the tiles and earthenware items, there are paintings and tapestry and carpet from all over the middle east and Asia. They also had different copies of the Qur'an that are so beautifully "calligraphied", painstakingly detailed patterns and embellishments. Something I love about Muslims is the pride they have in their holy book and the prayers it contains.

There was one room in the exhibition lit only by globes hanging from the ceiling forming an ethereal dome over a large carved wooden box. Around the walls was tapestry depicted the five pillars of Islam. I found this room the most fascinating by far...


I've also fallen in love with a 16th century Indian watercolor of a young women holding a single stalk of the white narcissus. I don't believe there are any prints of it anywhere...