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Birds and Islam

feather drawing

In class, we discussed the imagery of birds in Islam.  Birds are meant to be symbolic of God.  In fact, the flight of birds is seen as proof of God’s existence.  To explore this concept, this week, I created a drawing of a feather in blues and turquoise.  These are common colors used in islamic art–especially in mosaic works.  I use solid blocks of color to create the feather to evoke the feel of a mosaic.

Around the feather is a quote from The Conference of the Birds, a famous poem that discusses the journey of a group of birds to find their king.  The quote reads, “I am alone; make me your single goal, my presence is sufficient for your soul.  I am your God, your one necessary–withe every breath you breathe, remember me.”  Typically, bird imagery evokes God and his power and love.  The quote helps to reinforce this.  However, I try to do a play on this.  The image shows just a feather that has fallen off a bird.  The feather is falling back down to earth, indicating a questioning of the existence of God.  I further this idea by writing the second half of the quote describing the majesty of God upside down.  The goal of this piece is to question the typical notion of God evoked by bird imagery.

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