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spirituality 15.pdf

spirituality 15.pdf

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Published by Francisco Ascencio

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Published by: Francisco Ascencio on Feb 06, 2013
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spirituality - lesson 15: decoration
the blue mosque in mazar-e-sharif, afghanistan 
 in 726 AD, under the direction of emperor leo III, an iconoclastic movementswept the byzantine empire. religious images were deemed blasphemous as thepower of life was unique to GOD, only he alone could create images and breathelife into them. this, along with judaic traditions of aniconicism (no representationof GOD in human or animal form) was to influence islamic religious art forever.for this reason the role of image makers has been controversial and as such arich vocabulary of abstract non-figurative representations of GOD has evolved.creating figurative art is seen as challenging the omnipotence of GOD and thusbecoming a competitor of GOD. by banning such representations universal formsare created instead which are able to include all islamic audiences equally. theconcept of al-twahid (doctrine of unity) becomes central to islamic imagery. theabstraction in symmetrical and meditative geometry releases the consciousnessfrom inward idols and illusionary worlds and provides a metaphor for entering intospiritual relationship with GOD.as we have discussed in lesson 12: carpets, the use of geometric pattern is notsimplyas quantitative embellishment but provided quantitative centre for contemplation. the sophisticated complexity is used to reflect islamic life and allthe time expressing DIVINE UNITY interlaced in every part of the world,inexhaustibly. muslim intellectuals recognised that geometry was the unifyingintermediary between the material and spiritual world.the complex decoration adopted by islamic artists covers practically everysurface considered religious art; rugs, small sacred objects, paintings, walls,ceilings etc. the culture of arab nomads was perhaps not as imperial in scale andyet their aesthetic taste certainly contributed to future geometric tendencies.repetitive crystalline forms can be seen through their craftsmanship inspired bythe infinite stars in the night sky and magnitude of the desert. the abstract andlinear co-existing to express man and nature.
the blue mosque in mazar-e-sharif, afghanistan 
architecture as a canvas
 all over the islamic world from spain to china to indonesia decorative pattern canbe seen expressed on all sorts of scales; from applied arts to architecture. thedecoration helps contribute to a feeling of continuous space in islamicarchitecture, and whilst each room might contain it's own pattern and logic therewill be an underlying logic that relates to the whole building, textiles, pottery,books and metalwork. the numbers or mathematics that coordinate the patternsreflect the islamic belief that numbers are divine and contribute to absolute unity.mostly decoration is reserved for the inside of islamic architecture, only domesand entrances are likely to have adornment. inside mosques ceramic inlays andarabesque stuccoes interplay to create an overall theme based on the text fromthe qu'ran. the complexity is heightened by the colour of the ceramic tiles, whichplay with the light and give a subtle glossy effect to the walls. all pattern is notsimply two dimensional but instead brought alive through the contrast andintricacy of the glazed tiles. a sense of rhythm is found within the spirit of thegeometry.pools or fountains of water are used to enhance and multiply pattern like a mirror,emphasising the visual axes. the reflection in the water is unchanged and yetconstantly changing and dynamic; fluid yet static.
two of the four iwan of the friday mosque in isfahan floral and kufic calligraphy on the dome of the masjid-i shah, isfahan 

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