Rachel Bandeira

What struck me most about the art being displayed was how vibrant and elaborate each piece was. One of the more fascinating aspects of the art for me was the use of blue and gold as both background decoration and in the calligraphy or focus of the art itself, as these two seemed to be, overall, the dominating colors. The use of gold seems to be a reflection of nobility or magnificence, in this case attributed to God, given the immense reverence and worship of God by Muslims. I was extremely curious about the use of blue, and when I researched this a bit, I found that one explanation is that blue can be used to represent both water and the sky. The water is the life-giving and life-sustaining gift bestowed by God on his creations, while the sky symbolizes the eternity of God’s love.

In addition I was intrigued by the use of calligraphy. While a couple of pieces did show one person, most of the art was composed of Arabic script, and Qur’anic verses. This was interesting especially because when compared to Christian art, which is mostly of important figures: Jesus Christ, saints, etc. Islamic art is more a representation of the word of God, it is more symbolic and spiritual in nature, and focuses less on external, physical representation.