The title of this exhibition is from quotes by Jalal-Uddin Rumi perhaps the most widely known Muslim poet in the world dating back almost one thousand years.
As you enter the gallery there is a copy of one of his poems which I have been given permission to reproduce here.
My thanks to RMIT Gallery (Credits: Hafez Shirazi, Ghazal 80. Translation by Shahriar Shahriari 1999)
Let not the pious judge the meek;
Each for his own deeds will speak.
Whether I’m good or bad, you judge yourself;
You reap what you sow, find what you seek.
Everyone is seeking love, sober or drunk;
Everywhere a house of love, yet so unique.
I submit my head on the tavern’s bricks,
If you don’t understand, just take a peek.
Let me keep my hope of eternal grace,
Behind the veil, who is good, who the freak?
Not only I fell out of virtuous path,
My father too, treaded that path oblique.
Hafiz, on your deathbed, bring the cup to your cheek.
You go from the tavern straight to heaven’s peak.
This exhibition included water colours including text, with washes and embossing to create an image or tell a story. There was a collage with silver on brown ink, non realist or figurative, but very striking as it drew my attention from across the room.
Another room contained photographs of people including children, in their homes and villages. They showed the ravages of wars and conflicts, and a lot of the sadness showed in the faces. The photos of the area where large statues of Buddah had been destroyed I found every upsetting both from a cultural and artistic point of view. I was upset when it first happened and it still upsets me to see the destruction today.
Amongst the sadness in the photos was the beauty of the craftsmanship in other areas in the form of paintings and objects. I watched one of the videos in the exhibition and although the meaning was a little obscure, it was beautifully filmed and I stayed to watch it to the end as I found it gave me new insight into another culture that I didn’t understand very well from a woman’s perspective.