Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia

Mandala inspired by Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia

A few weeks ago I was in Kuala Lumpur and decided to visit the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, a beautiful, light, airy building that offers a very welcome escape from the stifling heat of Malaysia’s capital city. The museum is absolutely full of treasures and I cannot recommend a visit highly enough. As I wandered around the exhibits I was almost brought to tears by the absolute beauty of many of the objects on display, the illuminated Qur’an in particular were some of the most astonishingly elaborate religious artefacts I’ve ever seen. As I looked at the Qur’ans I began to understand something about peoples’ attachment to their beliefs and how important it is to have something in your life that resonates with you and gives you the strength, guidance and values to make the sometimes difficult choices that life requires of us. What I loved was just how special the Qur’ans were; the words that they contain have been enhanced and celebrated with the most exquisite illuminations and the combined effect of the words and designs bestow upon each book an almost magical quality, a power that helps transport the person reading it from whatever difficulty they’re facing to a place of calmness and love through the wisdom and beauty of the passages held within. With this in mind I decided that I would embellish and decorate some of the key little sentences that I use to move myself forward when I feel like things are getting too much or I’m having difficulty making a decision. I’m planning to make a series of ten images, each one celebrating and communicating a particular phrase. The pictures above show the piece of work I’m currently making called ‘Everything is ok’, a mandala that reminds us that no matter how tricky things seem at times we often have much less need to worry than we may think.

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