We are truly grateful to welcome such a talented array of creatives for this project. Hailing from Dubai, India, Turkey, England, Mexico, Scotland, and the United States, these artists treat the viewer to both traditional and contemporary interpretations of sacred geometry in their respective traditions. These works represent the pride of heritage, spiritual devotion, and innovative imagination that, when brought together, form the heart and soul of this project.
Iranian born Fariba Abedin explores sacred geometry as a complex structure of patterns conceived from a circle and a square. These patterns continue indefinitely, as a way to show that at the center of the world is God, who created the universe according to a continual geometric plan.
A believer contemplates the mastermind behind the creation of these complex structures and designs. Although Fariba’s work is geometric and structural, her concept of work is tender in its appreciation of nature, science, color, and geometry. She also seeks to convey a message of love and peace through her work.
Fariba received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Architecture from Massachusetts College of Art and a Master of Science in Education from Connecticut State University. For the next three decades after graduating, she studied painting and sculpture at prominent art institutions such as Art League of Houston and Glassell School of Art, Museum of Fine Arts Houston.
Zahra Ammar is an award-winning, Pakistani-born artist based in Sacramento, California where she experiments with traditional structures to create contemporary ones.
Art converses and delves into things when words are not enough. When we examine the structure of things, it all becomes symmetrical, even the abstract. I believe that in geometry, the soul finds some connection at a level that is hard to put into words. Like DNA, we are strung together in a cohesive past that we know we belong to and that resonates within. My intent is not to construct a soliloquy but to draw the onlooker into their own dialogue.
I experiment with tessellation as a layering of ideas, cultures and histories. Using different color theories and combinations, I look into what divides, combines, and sets us apart from one another, while also celebrating diversity. My work can be found on display at Kaiser Permanente, Dignity Hospital, Sutter Health, California Medical Association, and in private collections around the world.
As a woman, Hindu, Muslim, artist, and mother, I work to create harmony by expressing the universality of humanity through paintings, sculpture, and calligraphy. Inspired by the imagery, sculpture, and writings of my Indian heritage and Islamic spirituality, I use my artistic voice to break down the barriers that divide in order to foster peace and understanding.
Born into the Hindu tradition in my native India, I later embraced Islam through marriage. At birth, I was given the life-defining challenge of a left hand without fingers. Seeing the unity of an all-encompassing God, I was able to transcend the barriers often set-forth in the traditions of religion, culture and the cultural perceptions of handicaps. My personal triumphs have been defined and shaped by the simple principle of faith in The Divine, as the compelling force which has guided my life and work.
My works are lyrical, spiritual, figurative, and calligraphic. Arabic Calligraphy, miniatures, and the folk art of Islam and the Hindu tradition continue to influence my work today. I have tried to bring together Eastern spirituality and Western techniques of painting learned over the years.
I create modern decorative Islamic Art, traditionally hand carved in a variety of select Scottish hardwoods. My work has grown from humble beginnings as a woodcutter in the plantation forests of Scotland to the workbench, where I now produce fine furniture and cabinetry. In the process, I strive towards continual refinement. My work is inspired by traditional decorative Islamic art and sacred Qu'ranic calligraphy. I turn wood to reveal a unique inner beauty appropriate to present the carved decorative and calligraphic designs symbolizing and proclaiming the Divine.
These works are intended as contemplative pieces. Whether it is the beauty of the wood itself, the composition, or the words chosen, every created thing when viewed with a seeking eye reveals something of its origin. The practices employed in producing these works are an intrinsic part of and a reflection of my own journey within Islam and the reality of the Divine.
The language in which I create my work exists within many intersecting layers, such as the sociological and psychological realms. I generally produce installations through which I can reach the whole from smaller parts. I use found objects, photographs, charcoal, and other media to create a personal archive or narrative. I also design objects based upon social memory and the senses. I like to collect “invisible stories” while creating my works. I believe that the whole can be better understood as a moment in time made up of small fragments.
The abstract works I produced recently were created over a long period of time. My works, which are inspired by my own internal grammar, contain an intimacy that is difficult to describe to others. Although these new pieces can be read as a form of mystical experience, they can elevate all of my work as a mystery and even a cult phenomenon.
Born in 1979 in Izmir, Turkey, Mehmet graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Painting Department at Dokuz Eylül University and completed his M.A. in the same faculty. Mehmet is now a Ph.D. candidate at Sakarya University in Sakarya, Turkey.
“An artwork is a beautification and presentation of the truth and reality. If my audience feels a sense of purity, integrity, and utmost peace with a better realization, then I spiritually connect my artworks with my viewers.”
Abhishek Ghosh is from Kolkata, India. For him, an artwork narrates one's self-realization of truth towards the existence of Supreme Power.
Abhishek is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sanskrit at Jadavpur University and teaches Sanskrit at Bagnan College in West Bengal. As an Assistant Professor of Sanskrit, Abhishek draws inspiration from Indian philosophy, Vedic ritual, aesthetics, and ethics. Abhishek’s work expresses his belief that “different shades of life can lead someone to the path of light.”
As a Bengali, Abhishek is influenced by traditional Hindu art, such as traditional alpanas used in worship, Vedic yajñavedis and Tantric mandalas. He is also inspired by Islamic art, especially interior and exterior architecture, and seeks to uncover the deeper truths and aesthetic values found in auspicious religio-cultural imagery. Through geometric patterns, Abhishek leads the viewer inward to contemplate this imagery.
Sarah Huxtable Mohr
I started painting seriously in high school and continued to study art through junior college and college, taking classes in theory, history, drawing, design and painting. I chose to focus on religion in 2000 after receiving my MA in Religion and Psychology from the GTU with a certificate in Islamic Studies from the Center for Islamic Studies. I continued to paint and have had multiple shows of my work including solo and group exhibits. My work focuses on the way art functions as a manifestation of sacred space, like those who once and still make sacred space; any artist who sees the sacred as a malleable force, open to containment in ways that serve God’s expansion.
I intend for my work to inspire other artists to create, and to create beauty; God is beautiful and loves beauty. Currently I am exploring the interplay of pattern under floral forms as an expression of free-flowing unbounded desire and life as it exists in tension with structure and external bounded mandates of life and religion. I see art as efficacious for good in human affairs.
Nouf Al-Jahdami is an Emirati researcher and creative focused on the production of arts and culture in the Gulf region. As a professional, she finds herself at a crossroads between the socio-cultural productions of art and the socio-economic activities of an emerging art market in the UAE. As a practicing artist, she is interested in contemporary sculptural concepts and the alternative narratives which they embody - both in terms of how society perceives it and her own perceptions of it. She has written on various aspects of identity and spirituality, including an essay on self healing published in Unootha, a UAE based e-magazine.
Menat El Abd is an Egyptian photographer and videographer, based in Dubai, working professionally and personally to pursue her own sense of creative expression. This manifested into the creation of her brand, Black and White Diary in 2017. Menat specifically works with black and white visuals to showcase intensity and intent towards subject or environment as a form of documentary and thought.
Menat has developed two, Dubai-based art exhibitions, Discover Self (2019) and Who needs the ESCAPe (2020). The more recent of which encompassed a series of photographs and videos to explore emotional and spiritual longing towards the urban environment of Dubai. Her work for the gallery revolves around themes of escapism and spiritual responsibility.
Om Prakash Sharma
Submitted by his dedicated student, Justyn Zolli
Om Prakash Sharma was a giant of the Modern art world. He is acknowledged as one of the primary founders of the ‘Neo-Tantra’ movement of Indian painting. This movement looked to the mystical diagrams of Indian esoteric Tantra, distilled out the overt religious symbolism into pure geometry, and fused it with modernist abstraction to create glowing, modern compositions based on Indian forms. He developed this approach just prior to and after traveling to New York in the early 1960’s on a Fulbright Scholarship.
Over the course his long career, spent both in the United States and in his homeland of India, he created thousands of paintings and drawings, and held over 100 solo and group exhibits around the world.
Great Guru-Ji Professor Om Prakash Sharma passed this mortal life in 2019 at the age of 85.
This exhibition was particularly intriguing to me because it caused contemplation on the shape of bhakti, an art of learning to truly love. The rāsa-līlā, which suggests a circle of infinite loving reciprocation, first came to mind. I then thought of the heart as an almost universally recognized symbol of love. As much as I’d like to render my own conviction as to what geometric shape best represents bhakti and love I feel it is indubitably up to the lover and her beloved. Bhakti is found in many Hindu traditions. We all have a role to play in regard to love. So, how does love take shape? Is it a line drawn between two beings, or an apeirogon? Possibly, it is conceivable that love takes shape at any moment, in any space, at any time. If love is ubiquitous and infinite, what limits does it have? Who can dare say? How are we shaping love today?
Adri Ramirez is currently working out of Tijuana, Mexico. If you would like to be in touch and stay informed on his upcoming project to share more thoughts on love and dreams, please send him a message through Facebook, linked below.
England & Mumbai, India
Kinnari Saraiya was born in Mumbai, India and currently lives and works in England. Kinnari addresses contemporary discourse of the imperial past from a post-colonial standpoint. Because much contemporary theory silently abandons the colonial atrocities, the aim of her work is to shine a light on the contemporary being nothing but the baggage of the past. She gives voice to the architectural landscape of India that is regarded as silent witness to the British Raj and transforms it through contemporary techniques of laser-cutting, molding, and painting with spices.
Part of this history is the deliberate divide formed between Hindus and Muslims during the British Raj to break the unity of the country. Taking the form of theatrical aesthetics, she lures the viewer in and forces them to learn a perspective of the brutal history that is seldom acknowledged.
I am originally from Iran and moved to the U.S. (Minnesota) when I was 16. Currently, I am completing my undergraduate degree in neuroscience and math at UC Berkeley. I remember when we first moved to the States I didn’t have any art equipment, or even a proper desk to work on, but one day I started cutting pieces of paper and gluing them together. The more I did it, the more elaborate the cuts became and at some point, I started drawing on the paper, too. I used only blue-colored paper and white and gold pens. The more I worked on it the more I wanted it to resemble the geometric designs of Islamic art.
Although I was never a religious person, mosques and Islamic drawings have a special place in my heart. They transport me back home to Iran. I love making detailed artwork and ever since I was a kid I have been fascinated by miniature drawings. The majority of my pieces are done with super fine pens and my eyes always get tired of working on a piece after just a few hours. There is nothing more beautiful than the little details that a piece of art can hold. Even while studying I draw on whatever pieces of paper I find, making art to distract myself from the real world and to relieve my homesickness for Iran.
Vera Vandendries lives in Kensington, Maryland, just outside of Washington D.C. Living there for most of her adult life, she raised twin boys and received her MFA in sculpture at the University of Maryland. As a graduate student, she met her Guru, who taught meditation and the Scriptures of India. From that time onward, her outlook on life changed and her art has taken on a deeper meaning. She later switched from sculpture to printmaking, which better suits her artistic expression. Her spiritual practices heighten her awareness of the connection between the power of meditation and creativity.
Vera draws upon knowledge from Hindu teachings to understand more fully the symbolism of the archetypal forms she uses. The use of geometric shapes in her art is reminiscent of yantras, which serve either as a centering device or as a composition of the energy pattern of a deity. The archetypal forms of a yantra helps to lessen outward mental tendencies, drawing the viewer to the intended purpose. Vera hopes her art serves a similar purpose, to take the viewer beyond the mental construct of the world to the divinity within.