Shirazeh Houshiary Round dance: Sufi Art


Shirazeh Houshiary Round dance
H7/.0 cm, W 76.0 cm
1995 11-8 05



One of a set of five colour etchings and poems by the mystic poet Jalal al-Din Rumi (1207-73).The shapes refer to the rotation of the earth and the planetary system, while the black drawing consists of chants and prayers. It is not Houshiary’s intention that the script should be read but rather, as the artist herself has said, ‘The word loses its meaning and form is born from this.’The accompanying poems from Rumi such as the following do not specifically refer to the image but complement it: ‘Walk to the well. Turn as the earth and moon turn, circling what they love. Whatever circles come from the centre’ (British Art in Print 1995:116-19). Sufism is often defined as Truth without Form, which is manifested in the theme behind such Sufi art. 

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