Carpet lore

Islamic art has been a part of my life since I was a baby and I crawled around my mom’s prayer mat. It continued when I visited the Kaabah in Makkah as a child, and continues now whenever I gaze at the characters in a Qur’an peppered with floral motifs.

Art is a big part of my spiritual practice. Below is a drawing I made when I felt inspired by the majestic carpets I’ve seen all my life – from Turkey, India, Pakistan, Kashmir, Eastern Europe (Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, etc), Iran, etc.

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Recently (a couple of months ago) I got to visit an exquisite exhibit on carpets and motifs present in them over the centuries. I realised that, unconsciously, I had truly been referencing a lot of shapes and patterns from carpets.

My heritage is showing! Without even knowing it, I am passing down the meaningful shapes of those who came before me.

Foresty

You know me by now, at least a little bit. I’m very much inspired by nature.

Nature provides more than food, or space, or fresh air. To many, it provides inner peace. I’m happy for those people.

However, what I have always felt (as someone with severe ADD whose mind is running all the time, all the time, all the time…) is that nature is so full of detail that it does not bring me any peace.

And I love it.

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My father’s favourite place is the Morton Arboretum, in Illinois. He’s taken the family there since my sisters and I were children. I thank him for the gift of those memories.

I never want to forget the impact trees and their world have had on me, even more than an exact picture or a piece of the forest. So I draw those feelings over, and over, and over.