Painting in Focus. Heart of the Believer, 2019

The conditions of the hearts of Men and Jinn is mentioned numerous times in the Glorious Quran. The heart has the potential to be fluid with the fill of Imaan (faith) or Barren and Rocky with the lack of it.

Faith lives in the heart and this light radiates out to all aspects of our lives in the form of kindness, manners, and humility. This is why people who are good in nature and faith are so loved. Their personalities and good nature draw people like moths to a light bulb. Faith also ebbs and flows over the course of our lives. It grows and contracts with each situation we find ourselves in.

"Those who believe in the Oneness of Allah, and whose hearts find rest in his remembrance, Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest". Surah Ar-Ra'd. (The Thunder). verse 28

If we are not careful we can lose our faith completely. This is a slippery slope. Those who are struggling with faith can by the grace of God find their way back. In the worst case scenario, as a result of losing faith, we can also lose our kindness, manners, and decency. Resulting in us repelling the people we love and pushing them away. These unpleasant character traits detur human relationships.

This concept of the heart being the seat of our faith has been ticking over in my mind for well over half a decade. To represent the idea  I have used Arabic Calligraphy written in the formation of a continuous Knot to represent the idea of faith being locked in the heart.

The Takbir "Allahu Akbar" meaning God is great is the opening phrase of the Muslim prayer. I have used this declaration of faith for the calligraphy. The Arabic Calligraphy design started as a necklace back in 2012. I was happy with the outcome but this was not the way I envisioned it in my mind. I wanted to try and turn the idea into a painting.

My first real attempt at this was a Digital Painting. This was painted in the last part of 2013. An artist does not always like the creations they come up with. I think where our creativity is concerned artists are for the most part perfectionists. In some cases to the point of obsession. I am no different and although I released this Digital painting for a short while I did not like the outcome and soon pulled it back out of circulation. 

Heart of the believer digital painting version

Last autumn in September 2018 I decided to try again. I was due to exhibit at The Beauty and Faith Exhibition. So I went back to the sketchbook and redesigned the calligraphy to make it suitable for the canvas.

I had to step up my game, after all, going to be exhibiting alongside expert Arabic calligraphy artist Richard McLeod. After much practice, I finally developed the calligraphy design into a painting entitled "The Heart of the Believer." 

The final wall art (below) was the culmination of three previous attempts to perfect the design as a painting. Five years of development brought the concept to this point. The final piece is painted in Acrylic on a 16 x 20 canvas. I have to say I was really happy with this outcome. However.............

Heart of the Beiever. 2018 by Ian Garrett

My end game with the design has always been to turn the calligraphy into a sculpture. I am currently in the process of making this a reality. The sculptural concept will be more three dimensional and will emphasize the woven aesthetic nature of the Arabic language.

 An artistic concept, seven years in the making. If created the sculpture is designed to be created by 3D Printing. Ideally in 24 carat Gold Plated Steel. What are your thoughts? Why not carry on the conversation in the comments below?

 


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