Art Portfolio Item 3

Nasr’s Islamic Art and Spirituality creates a broad definition for what is considered Islamic art. Unlike Necipoglu who believes in the importance of historical and cultural contexts, Nasr argues that intentionality is key for considering an item to be an Islamic art form. He believes that art is a reflection of faith and that artistic inspiration can come from many directions. The many different pieces considered Islamic art illustrate the oneness of God. 

For my piece, I chose to create a 3-D object and used a simple geometric pattern. The work does not contain any overt Islamic symbols or text. The object is void of any references to religion other than the traditional design. By creating a simple plain item, this artwork aims to take a strong stance with Nasr’s interpretation of Islamic art. A meaningless stream of white Polylactic acid can be deposited on a glass plate with nothing else representing a connection to Islam, but the intention behind the object creates a strong religious attachment. My conception of the object as a manifestation of my religiosity turns the raw materials into an Islamic symbol. 

The aim of this project is similar to the Rubab presented in class. The instrument is created out of intestines and wood; however, the process of creation are critical in integrating a deep Islamic component. The Rubab becomes heavily associated with Islamic tradition. Even though the elements are no different than those used to make many secular instruments, the religious conception attached turns the final product into an entirely different creation. 

This piece also aims to draw attention to the possibilities that come with modern Islamic art. New generations are regularly given access to novel methods of representing their religious beliefs. Rubab players drew on a long historical tradition; Amirah Sackett made use of break-dancing as a method of speaking to her younger audience members. My 3-D design stakes a claim for a new method that contemporary Muslims can use to express their religious beliefs.

Sources

 Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Islamic Art and Spirituality

 Gülru Necipoğlu, The Topkapı Scroll: Geometry and Ornament in Islamic Architecture: Topkapı Palace Museum Library MS H. 1956 (Santa Monica, CA: Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities, 1995)

  Asani, Ali. Gened 1087, 17 Oct. 2019, Harvard College. 

Leave a Comment

Log in