Beauty and Belief: Crossing Bridges with the Arts of Islamic Culture
Unique in its approach, this exhibition offers access to Islamic culture, providing ‘a view from within’ by project director, Dr. Sabiha Al Khemir. As an introduction to the arts of Islamic culture, this exhibition inspires both the general public and the specialist. Beauty and Belief poses the question “What makes Islamic Art Islamic?” To address this, Tunisian-born Dr. Al Khemir creates a show that features historical and geographic background with succeeding sections of calligraphy, figurative imagery and pattern. The exploration of themes in the exhibition creates a space to encounter the culture of Islam through its visual language. The approach means to raise questions of cultural significance for each object in order to build bridges and bring cultures together. Beauty and Belief challenges assumptions on all sides and offers a space for dialogue. For example, the exhibit aims to correct the assumption held by Muslims and non-Muslims alike that the art of Islam is devoid of any figurative representation. Although not permitted in the Mosque, this exhibition shows how figurative representation is present in Islamic culture through its different media across centuries. The exhibit shows that this form of art is shaped by Islamic cultural beliefs.