Monthly Archives: October 2007

Art & the Mystery of Light

Salamalaikum. In observing the academic approach to art from the outside, I have noticed that the learning/teaching process often revolves around repetition and formula. The trained teacher reproduces what he technically learned and conveys it to students who eventually do the same. This forms a cycle of repetition that is expected, demanded and even sought after by the ego culture yet there is not much room for innovation, and exploring one’s true heart, its Voice and thus sublimity.

The Creation as well as creativity are shrouded in mystery, their robe is obscurity which is the highest form of light, therefore in order to attain it the creative soul needs love, silence, stillness; that way it can attune to its innate virtues, talents, universes and inshAllah eventually it can process them through creativity. This is why I always tell people who ask me questions about their aspiration to become artists that Art in essence is more of a spiritual discipline than anything else; an unending learning process that unveils as we evolve toward egolessness. In order to help mankind toward the natural quest for spiritual well-being artists need to first reach deep within their selfless “selves” that constantly is amazed by the wonders of Allah (swt). This is what “genius” is, it is the ability to capture “fragments” of this bliss we constantly are submerged into, no formal training can convey such depth.

The reason why some artists from past centuries were able to create works that spiritually propel us is because they knew how to shut their physical eyes so that their spiritual one, the heart’s eye could open and allow them to behold the divine beauty behind the density of the world. This is not a mechanical endeavor, it has to do with love, kindness, patience, selflessness and pure spiritual impulse.

I hardly ever look at the art works of most “great masters painters” who have been made popular by mainstream scholarly decree because they’re not necessarily the most harmonious pieces and it makes me cringe to experience the vibrations of their angst, distress and chaos through their art pieces.

I cherish the accuracy of the innate taste, its own random discoveries which usually pull us outwardly to admire art from our higher sense and not from the one that is dictated and conditioned by external sources. Therefore I tend to be supportive of the “underground” artists whose works reflect the luminous Mystery that can only transpire from a finely attuned heart. To admire their art works offers a fluid, intense and Eye-opening experience, all filled with light and this gift can solely come from the mercy of Allah (swt), The Master of all Creation.

copyright 2007 Aida Toure

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Filed under Contemporary Islamic Art, Inner Reality, Islam, Spiritual Art, Spirituality, Sufi Prose, Sufism, Tasawwuf, Visual Arts

Sahelian Luminaries (the painting)

Salamalaikum, inshAllah all had a blessed holy month… the last nights of Ramadan were amazingly beautiful, al hamdulillah!

I just completed “Sahelian Luminaries” that was inspired from this poem in hommage of all the West African Muslim saints, sages and figures whose unconditional devotion to the values of Islam has helped build tangible or immaterial Empires for generations in our societies, hearts and minds: Askia Touré, Cheikh Amadou Bamba, Samory Touré, Cheikh Anta Diop, Abdoulaye Touré read more

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Filed under Contemporary Islamic Art, Islam, Oil Painting, Poesie Soufie, poesie visuelle, Prophet Muhammad (saw), Saints, Spiritual Art, Spirituality, Sufi Poetry, Tasawwuf, the prophets (as), Visual Arts

Sufi Poetry in French

Salamalaikum, recently I have gotten emails from French speaking sisters and brothers from different corners of the world who inquire about the French version of my books of poetry. Because most of the poems are composed in English, I’m sometimes reluctant to translate them as it feels as if I were “altering” them so I tend to want to leave them in the original language they were written in. Yet since there is a demand for French translation, I was compelled to start the meticulous task to translate the poems while trying to preserve the original work’s integrity…

I’m also gathering a collection of the few poems originally composed in French. I hope to render the French version of Umanifest Poems available soon too inshAllah. I haven’t had the chance to work on it as I would have wanted but I’m slowly getting back to it. So to all my French speaking brothers and sisters out there, thank you for your emails and patience.

Speaking of Sufi poetry in French, there is a poet “Good Gee” who writes beautiful! I came across his work after he sent me an email about the release of his book last year. I really enjoyed his work!

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Filed under Poesie Soufie, Spiritual Art, Spirituality, Sufi Poetry, Sufism, Tasawwuf