Images & installations inspired by Islamic Sufism at Sidespace Gallery, Salamanca Arts Centre, Salamanca Place, Hobart, April 2001

1. Entrance to "Is There A Sufi IN SIGHT?"
       The Sufi reveals his inner aspects, hands holding his staff symbolising protection, & bowl implying poverty before God. The Sufi recognises we are need of everything from God/Allah & relies totally on God/Allah.
Above him is the Statement of Belief  "There are no gods - only Allah/One God & Muhammad/The one on whom be praise, is the Messenger of Allah/God.
       His North African camel bag has The Supreme Name. It is behind him also in interwoven calligraphy on papyrus. His Kufi/hat hides his ignorance, turban to wrap around. His shoes are mirrored, symbolic of reflection. In his pocket is a Miswak/toothbrush, a Tasbih/rosary for Remberance & kneedle & thread for his own mending!. His needs are fulfilled by The One. He acts with "In The Name of God/Bismillah". He accepts what happens with "Alhamdulillah/All praise is of God".

2. 3. 4. & 5. The aspects of the Sufi revealed without revealing the Sufi

The exhibition space, which is a heritage warehouse building near the Hobart wharves, lent itself to displaying the Five Pillars concepts of Islam. The charming & rustic gallery had five pillars which were used as a focus for these images.
The Five Pillars of Islam are:

The Sufi is a believer. He has Iman & so do all those who believe in Allah/God. The Sufi is a Good Muslim [one who is submitted to the Will of Allah/God.] The Shahadah or Witnessing is the statement made when one consciously accepts Islam. Even born Muslims must come to consciously accept Islam at some stage or they are not applying their intellect to their Deen/Religion or "Life Transaction" between the believer & his Creator & Sustainer.
To accept Islam one says "I bear witness that there is no god/gods, only Allah/One God and I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. Transliterated - Ashadhu an a la illa ha il la Allah wa ashadu an a Muhammadan Rusullah.
Images of the Shahadah in the exhibition are the Green cloth with the Shahadah in Arabic calligraphy above the Sufi, shown in image 2 & the Gold embroidery on velvet loaned by Nabeelah Baxter displayed on the first pillar, image 6. The gold embroidery on velvet is in the style of the embroidery applied to the cover of the Kaaba, the central mosque & direction of Salat/prayer for Muslims everywhere

6. Composite image of the Shahadah on the first green lillar.
7. Double screen in Gold & silver shim. The screen effect dipicts the concept that one enters through the Prophet Muhammad by following his exemplary way/Sunnah & comes to deep understanding of the reality expressed in the first part of the Shahadah. The Sufi practices "The Science of Prophethood" on himself by following the "Perfect, Universal Man." For the Sufi this is his Path to Allah.

The second Pillar of Salat/prayer was shown in multiple images. Images of prayer carpets decorated the second gallery pillar & a series of six arched windows with gold & or silver shim geometric screens between the viewer & the cloth landscapes symbolised the patterns of the five daily prayers plus the voluntary prayer. This prayer with no screen is offereded in the night after some sleep or in the early hours of the morning before dawn. The Sufis value it for its “closeness” & connection with the Divine. All the prayers offered with sincerity connect the believer but the extra prayer done voluntarily, especially connects.

Dawn - silver & gold,   Midday-gold,   Prayer cycle,   A'noon-gold to silver,   Sunset-mainly silver,   Night-all silver.   Matching landscapes