Thursday 29th July 2021 COVID-19 Response

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Eleven talented young creatives reflect on Ramadan through their art.

Ramadan is a Holy month which seeks to increase the observer’s God-consciousness or taqwa. The purpose of a Muslim’s very existence is to come to know God and His Divine Beauty, so that she or he may worship The Beloved. This exhibition, co-curated with artist Beray Uzunbay, seeks to inspire persons to get to know God through the meanings of Ramadan in all its beauty.

The exhibition comprises diverse works by eleven different artists. We seek to comment on how the opportunities with the imagination and creativity is endless. We invite the viewer to explore these unique and diverse artworks and gain a new level of closeness with the ultimate artist, Allah swt.

Beray Uzunbay

Blue Mosque, 2020

soft pastel on paper

21cm x 29cm

$350

“The Blue Mosque is a famous mosque in Turkey. To me, the mosque is a symbol of Ramadan, a place where people worship and gather as a community for Iftars. It’s a central hub. Obviously in this particular social climate, it’s a little different because we don’t have access to mosques but nonetheless we can still bring that to our homes. We can still bring the festivity and that spirit to the places we live.”

Follow on instagram @berays_art

Nasyeetha Mohd Ismail

Mountain of Light, 2020

Vector illustration

42cm x 29cm

$150

“‘Mountain of Light’ or ‘Jabaal An-Noor’ is a piece that depicts the mountain in Makkah where the first few verses of the Quran were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) by the Angel Jibraeel (Gabriel). This place on the ‘Night of Power’ or ‘Laylatul Qadr’ which is the holiest night of Ramadan.”

Follow on instagram @nasyeetha.co

Fathiah Raihan

to burn to live, 2020

Japanese vinyl block print

18.5cm x 25.5cm

“‘The work discusses the theme of burning and the role of fire as a cleansing process. What I found was that there were these types of plants called pyrophytic plants that thrive on fire in order to survive. The intense heat melts the resin from these cones which contain dormant seed, so without the intense fire, the next generation of plants can’t live.

I feel like Ramadan is a process where we go through an intense program and we abstain from all of our desires and that is really hard for us to do, but it’s necessary, just like it’s necessary for those plants to burn. It’s necessary for us to have Ramadan for us to come back to our sole purpose in life.  If you look closely, one of the seeds looks like an embryo and that’s because I wanted to say this burning awakens the purity we initially had and while we may not fully return to the innocence of infancy, Allah has the power to bring us back to that purity and to remind us of our purpose in life.”

Follow on instagram @f4thiah

 

Irfan Abdulla

Socially isolated but spiritually connected, 2020

Digital photograph

29cm x 42cm

“With the current pandemic Muslims all over the world are looking at a Ramadan where they can’t go to mosques for worship. Many are sad because of this as they fear that they might not be able to experience Ramadan to the fullest as they won’t be able to perform Ibadah and pray at the mosque.

This photo explains that true belief lies inside a believer’s heart. What matters the most is the intension and honest effort of a believer for their acts of worship to be accepted. The white backdrop portrays the heart of a believer and space outside portrays where their physical self is. No matter where you are physically because of the current pandemic what matters in this and every other Ramadan is what’s inside your heart.”

Follow on instagram @abdirfann

Irfan Abdulla

Socially isolated but spiritually connected (Part 2), 2020

Digital photograph

29cm x 42cm

“This photo represents hope. Social isolation is often followed by depression, anxiety, feeling lonely and feeling hopeless. A true believer can overcome these difficulties by believing that fate (good or bad) comes from Allah and that “Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear” [2:286].

This photo portrays that no matter what the difficulty is one should be able to overlook that by believing that Allah will protect them while they are doing their part towards it. This is how one should enter Ramadan, hoping for the better to come while preforming Ibadah.”

Follow on instagram @abdirfann

Najeem Yussuf

5:42, 2020

Acrylic on canvas

40cm x 50cm

$100

‘5:41’ is a feeling, an emotion. It’s when the serene period of the day converts to the humble festive moment of the early night (iftar). It’s the realization of nourishment. The time that brings wholeness, fulfillment and delight to the believer. A moment where the family meet. It’s not about the specific food that is indulged but about the beautiful energy surrounding the moment. As the Prophet PBUH said “there are two pleasures for a fasting person, one at the time of breaking his fast, and the other at the time when he will meet his Lord.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (7492)]

Follow on instagram @najeemscanvas

Arwa Edris

When the sun sets, 2020

Oil on canvas

20cm x 12.5cm

$225

“When the Sun Sets illustrates the ambience of Ramadan nights in suburbia. It reminisces on those long days spent at work or university only to come home just in time for Maghreb prayer. The sun has set and as you walk up to your front door you thank God for the food that you know is sitting at your dining table, for your mother for putting it all together, for shelter and for all the blessings that you do not dare to count.”

Follow on instagram @arwaedris

Zehra Rizvi and Qaisara Mohamad

Khalwa // Solitude and Unity, 2020

Digital photography 25cm x 20cm

$120 each

“We reflected on the purpose and virtues of Ramadan and brainstorm on the ideas of a common ground on what Ramadan is to each of us. We wanted to highlight the nuance in the diversity of experience by portraying different hands, each with their unique features, just as Ramadan is unique for every person. On the other hand, there is a familiar feeling of closeness with Allah SWT in the hours of solitude during Ramadan that many of us experience.”

Follow on instagram @soulful.jpg and @shotsandrove

Isra Kareem

Ramadan in Al-Mutanabbi Street, 2020

Acrylic and Gouache

42cm x 59cm

$280

“In this artwork I wanted to give a glimpse of Ramadan from my home country, Iraq. I drew inspiration from an old street in Iraq’s central city, Baghdad, ‘‘Al Mutannabi street’. This street is the heart of the country’s literary scene where poets, writers, artists and intellectuals fill the street and coffee shops every Friday. There is a constant hustle and wisdom enriched by this street especially during the Holy Month
of Ramadan, I wanted to highlight the importance of the dear tea brewer, who is endlessly providing tea or ‘chai’ to those after they have broken their fast and during Suhur.”

Follow on instagram @krreamchi

Ammar Yonis

Main Event I, 2020

Digital photography & design

29cm x 42cm

$120

“The artwork is titled Main Event and attempts to highlight how blessed we are to break our fast with family and friends. I spent Ramadan ’19 mostly away from home and broke my fast on the floor of a hotel room in Warrnambool. We forget that we are invited every night to break our fast by those who prepare it for us and the artwork recognises the role women have played in my life to make this experience as special as it is. 

I had the opportunity to collaborate with Dominique Tang who supported me by realising my vision through graphic design. Also, I was fortunate enough to shoot Halima Diyab and Sarah Melhem who feature in the posters.”

Follow on instagram @brotherammar

Ammar Yonis

Main Event II, 2020

Digital photography & design

29cm x 42cm

$120

“The artwork is titled Main Event and attempts to highlight how blessed we are to break our fast with family and friends. I spent Ramadan ’19 mostly away from home and broke my fast on the floor of a hotel room in Warrnambool. We forget that we are invited every night to break our fast by those who prepare it for us and the artwork recognises the role women have played in my life to make this experience as special as it is. 

I had the opportunity to collaborate with Dominique Tang who supported me by realising my vision through graphic design. Also, I was fortunate enough to shoot Halima Diyab and Sarah Melhem who feature in the posters.”

Follow on instagram @brotherammar

Demi Tsioumanis

13:28, 2020

Acrylic on canvas

76cm x 101cm

$1,100

“Last year I experienced my very first Ramadan. As a revert, it can sometimes be fairly lonely, but knowing that everyone was turning towards the Kaaba and praying to the Most Merciful was extremely heartwarming in these times of loneliness. Prayer is so important for each and every one of us, and without the remembrance of Allah SWT, we live a cold, confusing life. I was brought to Islam through prayer, and it’s something I will cherish forever.”

Follow on instagram @demitra.com.au

Beray Uzunbay

Field of Hope, 2020

soft pastel on paper

29cm x 21cm

$350

“Field of Hope comments on the beauty of Laylatul Qadr (Night of Power), when you look at this fie’s very magical, enchanting and very special and that’s how I feel about Laylatul Qadr, it’s a special, unique night and that’s what I’ve tried to encapsulate.”

Follow on instagram@berays_art

Supported by the City of Melbourne COVID-19 Arts Grants

 

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