Poesie Soufie · poesie visuelle · Spiritual Art · Spirituality · Sufism · Tasawwuf · Visual Arts

Magazine Amina interview Aïda Touré

The English translation of this interview is here. You may click on the images to enlarge them. Thank you all for your support and the kind emails you send my way~ I’m going to reply to each one, inshAllah.

Amina magazine/Aida Toure interview

Contemporary Islamic Art · Oil Painting · poesie visuelle · Spiritual Art · Spirituality

Night of Beauties (the painting)

"Night of Beauties" © 2011 Aida Toure

For a change I went to sleep early this evening so I could wake up at 2am and stay up until Fajr and make the most of the Night.

Al hamdulillah, I just completed Night of Beauties that I’m really grateful for. For some reason once I achieve a piece it’s like been given permission to vanish and dissolve in Peace. This painting has a particularity I hold dear because it developed during Nighttime only, which is truly the time for the prostrated…

I did this painting for a private collector, it is an 18″x24″ size so I worked on it for about seven weeks, which seems not like a lot compared to the new 30″x40″ size I’ve been working on and which requires months to complete. I must say that patience is primordial when it comes to the oil medium, it’s great because it allows time to see the painting unfold and to gear it in the direction that resonates best.

There are so many ways to explain Night of Beauties that I can’t even begin to do so because its symbolic that has to do with embodiment as well as the spacial envelope around all inclines me to Silence for now. To see the entire painting and the poem that inspired it, you may click here.

© 2011 Aida Toure

Inner Reality · poesie visuelle · Spiritual Art · Spirituality · Sufi Prose · Visual Arts

Celestial Lamp Metaphor

Celestial Lamp © 2011 Aïda Touré

Bismillah, I’ve been doing something that I have always enjoyed doing from childhood: Sky watching~

Today I saw a celestial metaphor that amazed me. There were layers of clouds with different tones that seemed to hide the Sun from an instant to the next, and a delicate silver lining that traced the periphery of the bottom cloud~ I know it must seem ordinary to some but I had never seen anything quite like it before. It was magical, with the soft movements of the clouds, a dance orchestrated with the most perfect rhythm it seemed… The metaphor related of our constitution and the way we function, the clouds were the different layers we are made of and the Sun was the inner Lamp that shines its light forth beyond our will, whether we are clear or wear masks, whether we’re sincere or deceitful, the Lamp still does its work, like the Sun it’s lit up always even when we don’t see it. The Lamp minds the overall being, it serves and everything it does is for its nurturing, its evolution, its convergence toward Divine Centering~

Longing fills this journey with joy and difficulty yet the soul, faithful, remains fixed on the directives of her Beloved, Divine like the Breath S/He instilled that moment they “parted” for a time… The Beloved is “here” in the formless form of a gift that is closer than close. She breathes S/He, soul that is, the majestic she that sees herself into everything, known, unknown… in Unity~Tawhid.

© 2011 Aïda Touré

"Celestial Lamp" © 2011 Aïda Touré
Inner Reality · Poesie Soufie · poesie visuelle · Spiritual Art · Spirituality · Sufi Poetry · Sufism · Tasawwuf · Visual Arts

Ethereally Infinite

Ethereally Infinite © 2011 Aïda Touré

~ Ethereally Infinite ~

Permeating the Unseen
with all the Beauty
only you wear,
your source is divine,
soul filtering Light,
you are infinite,
your breath
fluttering on my lips,
and lo! I am free of the lonely
that caged my life
in this dense moment;
now on the edge of you…
this world drained me.

© 2011 Aïda Touré

Islam · Oil Painting · poesie visuelle · Spiritual Art · Spirituality · Sufi Poetry · Sufism · Tasawwuf · the prophets (as)

Atoms’ KaBa (the painting)

The conception of “Atoms’ KaBa” was a very interesting process. The painting is about all atoms being sacred spaces, whose forces emanate from the Divine Consciousness itself… read more about the painting and the Sufi poem that inspired it here.

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Islam · Music · Poesie Soufie · poesie visuelle · Prophet Muhammad (saw) · Saints · Spiritual Art · Spirituality · Sufi Poetry · Sufism · Tasawwuf · the prophets (as) · Visual Arts

HUnified|music by Aïda Touré

~ HUnified ~

Center your self
near the edge of Being,
be still like before life,
“there is no other than

Every atom repeats,
“You are the primordial bliss
that made the prophet

recite la ilaha illa Allah,
HU is the Light
of all that is…

Lean inward, listen
to the Cosmos’ Music!”

music & poetry © 2009 Aïda Touré

(This video was made for cultural purpose only.)

Oil Painting · poesie visuelle · Spiritual Art · Spirituality · Visual Arts

Painting “Kemet Incandescence” on Lonnie Plaxico’s New CD “Ancestral Devotion”

Lonnie Plaxico’s new album entitled “Ancestral Devotion” has just been released. It is an incredibly rich Jazz record that I think anyone who is into spiritual culture would enjoy, you may listen to excerpts of this gem and purchase it here. I must say there is one track on the CD that particularly moved me deep, it is “Nile River Valley”…  I did the painting “Kemet Incandescence” for “Ancestral Devotion” album cover. The creation of the piece was very much influenced by Africa’s ancient art; the painting process was quite an experience as it has allowed me to celebrate the sacred feminine in my African cultures in another way which I want to delve deeper into… you may see the entire painting and read more about it here.

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Lonnie Plaxico at work:

Contemporary Islamic Art · Inner Reality · Islam · Poesie Soufie · poesie visuelle · Spiritual Art · Spirituality · Sufi Poetry · Sufi Prose · Sufism · Tasawwuf · Visual Arts

Art is Bliss’ Remnants

Al hamdulillah il rabil al Amin, Art is a quiet revering of The Hidden… through the intimacy of creativity, we trace the unknown yet the nearest, wholeheartedly, without any condition nor any usual man-made boundary, we celebrate The Most Sublime who left imprints of Herself/Himself through our breath. Art reveals itself to adorn the journey of the spiritually aware, the humble seekers, the refined lovers; those ones who have learned to vanish and re~appear through the Veil woven between matter and pure spirit… Art is the soul’s whisper relating of the glimpses it captures amid its immersion in Hu, Art is that sacred! The experience of such luxurious frenzy is for those who no longer have anything to say after some tender, unexpected Visit left them amazed! Those silenced ones who exist eyes and ears closed to allow the Eye and the Ear to relate of their pre~cosmic Glow. Art is for those whose senses flirt with Stillness and Breath, alternately… Art is Bliss’ remnants making themselves known to pull us even more toward the Unknown… Therefore we explore, allowing the invisible hand to lead us wherever it may…

(c) 2009 Aïda Touré

Contemporary Islamic Art · Gabon · Inner Reality · Islam · Oil Painting · Poesie Soufie · poesie visuelle · Spiritual Art · Spirituality · Sufi Poetry · Sufi Prose · Sufism · Tasawwuf · Visual Arts

On the Edge of Union (the painting)

Salamalaikum, I just completed the painting “On the Edge of Union” I worked on it for about 4 months. Ecstatic union is the ultimate goal to the soul so with pleasure, I endured the slow development of this piece; the poem that offered it may be read here, the entire piece and description may be viewed here. I also composed a song that continues the painting, hopefully it will be part of my first album coming out soon inshAllah. “On the Edge of Union” is the invitation to attune to our polarity and to allow ourselves to surrender to its Source and to just flirt with the grace birthed of that harmony… If the lover’s soul tilts in the Absolute, slips in and out of it or dissolves, let it be; this is the majesty of existence unfolding… We welcome the Bliss of such love~annihilation, we revel in that kind of melting, that divine healing… Love is the Way.

(c) 2008 Aïda Touré

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Contemporary Islamic Art · Islam · Oil Painting · poesie visuelle · Spiritual Art · Spirituality · Sufi Poetry · Sufi Prose · Sufism

NYU Islamic Awareness Week Exhibit ~ “Cultural Canvas: Islam Paints the World”

Wasalamalaikum, I have been focusing on much work lately but I hope to get more free time to blog soon again inshAllah. I’m going to participate to the NYU Islamic Awareness Week Exhibit “Cultural Canvas: Islam Paints the World” on Friday April 4th 2008 in New York University from 6-10 pm.

Contemporary Islamic Art · Gabon · Islam · Oil Painting · Poesie Soufie · poesie visuelle · Spiritual Art · Spirituality · Sufi Poetry · Sufism · Tasawwuf · Visual Arts

Marundu’s Thousand Veils

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Salaams all, I had been away for a little while as my schedule has been hectic but I hope to be able to post more frequently inshAllah.

I also completed a new oil painting entitled “Marundu’s Thousand Veils”. I wanted to do something with the “Veil” theme to celebrate head covering. I have noticed that for materialists, it is one of the main reasons they despise Islam as they claim “the veil” is a sign of oppression of Muslim women which is strange I think because head covering relates to modesty, to the value of one self’s beauty. Besides, head covering is an old tradition that has been observed for eons in many cultures and this beyond gender and religions.

Growing up in Gabon, I can’t even count the number of women I saw wearing head scarves without even being Muslim yet they observed modesty and were graceful! So I painted this piece for this reason: to honor all the modest women on all continents who beautifully wear their veils or head scarves in face of all the prejudice they encounter at the work place, in educative institutions or wherever superficial, uncultured persons can not stand another people’s refusal to be whatever alien forces want them to be… On the part of materialists, this simply is an intolerance of a divinely appointed phenomenon: diversity.

There is also an inner meaning to the “Veil” theme in this painting: the mysteries of existence are hidden from our physical eyes yet the soul is immersed in those mysteries which can become perceptible by the Will of The Divine only. When this occurs, all the concealing “veils” lift and at last, we behold the true blissful Reality… so the “Thousand Veils” here symbolizes abundance, unraveling spiritual ecstasy, “dying before death”, the continual process of false ego dissolution for the surrendered ones.

Also I must explain “Marundu”! “Marundu” is the name of a Princess in my maternal culture. I used “Marundu” in this piece’s title as an allegory for the soul as it innately is royal due to its properties, attributes and its origin.

The poem that inspired “Marundu’s Thousand Veils” can be read here and the entire painting is here… and the song on myspace.

Many blessings to all.

Copyright 2008 Aida Toure.

Gabon · Inner Reality · Islam · Poesie Soufie · poesie visuelle · social justice · Spiritual Art · Spirituality · Sufi Prose · Sufism · Tasawwuf

Academia Folly

innapearls3.jpgI take great pleasure in dwelling on words that carry the scents of the Word. I must confess that I sometimes can re~read one word for a long time, basking in the Love energy it conveys. I easily am amazed when it comes to the manifestations of Love. “…Forget the rigid structures of academia and intellectual pride! Real Knowledge does not alienate one from his/her light!” This still resounds in my mind…

Fifteen years ago, one September morning, I abruptly broke away from formal education to revel in Stillness; the impulse to be in Silence finally overcame me! Lo, there were now impetuous teachers in the humility that came with “not belonging” and not abiding by established standards and their false sense of security/identity. I then learned to repose, to study specific subjects, to live in patience; since it was finally alright to honor my nature, thus to be quiet, I learned to listen to the movements of Love… There had been some Majesty there behind each event; the sorrowful with the joyful, now gigantic loops of Sound and Beauty… I just fell from existence as I knew it …

In hindsight, secular irrelevant curriculum stifled and bombarded me with so much noise and restlessness; pure reflection of an unnatural spiritually oppressive world system, obstinate in its “dismissal” of the all-pervading Spirit; a fierce system always on some quest to repress, to usurp, to dissimulate the truth, to disturb the natural Order of things… but only The Divine reigns supreme, indeed! La ilaha illa Allah.

Solely in Silence and Love does the Truth interweave with the heart, how threatening the sublime treasures it threads in and around it! As it was intended by universal mathematics, Love unfurls constantly, it runs through our fingertips and ends up as efflorescent imprints inside the minds of other lovers who in turn whisper: “let us just whirl like surrendered pearls and make this Intimacy a cosmic one!”

You see why academia seems so futile?

copyright 2007 Aida Toure.

Had I been to school, I would have been an educated fool.”

~Bob Marley

“Read in the name of your Lord who created, created man from a clot. Read, for your Lord is most Generous, Who teaches by means of the pen, teaches man what he does not know.

(~96: 1-5 Qur’an)

Confound not truth with falsehood, nor knowingly conceal the truth.

(~2: 42 Qur’an)

Contemporary Islamic Art · Holy Qur'an · Islam · Oil Painting · Poesie Soufie · poesie visuelle · Saints · Spiritual Art · Spirituality · Sufi Poetry · Sufism · Tasawwuf · the prophets (as) · Visual Arts

Al Fattah ~ The Opener (the painting)

Wasalamalaikum. I just finished this painting I had started working on during Ramadan. “Al Fattah” (The Opener) is one of the 99 sacred Names of The Beloved. I immensely enjoyed developing this art piece that seemed vertiginously well defined and nocturnal from the start.

I must say that the “opening” theme is dear to my heart because it’s the first condition for love, spiritual intimacy and the gracefulness of existence itself. The most amazing testimony to such “Opening” is the prophets (as) as they were able to convey the divine Message to us only because The Opener, Allah (swt) bestowed this grace upon them. The poem that goes with “Al Fattah: The Opener” can be read here… more about the painting here.

copyright 2007 Aida Toure.

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

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

Contemporary Islamic Art · Islam · Oil Painting · poesie visuelle · Spiritual Art · Sufi Poetry · Sufism · Tasawwuf

La Romance des Mondes (the painting)

Wasalamalaikum. Al hamdulillah I just completed the new painting I had been working on for a little while: “La Romance des Mondes” it translates to “Romance of the Worlds”… Its imagery came from a poem of the same title I wrote in French. I’m going to translate it tomorrow inshAllah for my English speaking people … It was really soothing to work on this piece, a celebration of the Alignment our soul constantly invites us to; it is this Alignment that all the worlds visible and invisible reflect out of surrender to The Divine … read more

“The seven heavens and the earth, and all beings therein, declare His glory: there is not a thing but celebrates His praise; And yet ye understand not how they declare His glory! Verily He is Oft-Forbear, Most Forgiving!” (~Qur’an 17: 44)

Blogroll · Contemporary Islamic Art · Inner Reality · Music · Poesie Soufie · poesie visuelle · Prophet Muhammad (saw) · Saints · science · Spiritual Art · Spirituality · Sufi Prose · Tasawwuf · Uncategorized · Visual Arts · World Music

The Persecuted Widow

I painted “The Persecuted Widow” to protest the mistreatment of the grieving. Unfortunately this practice is rampant in many African countries: ill-intended relatives and in-laws seem to rejoice when the head of the household passes away because it’s finally the opportunity for them to not only prey upon the deceased man’s children and wife but it’s also the opportunity to scheme in order to embezzle whatever property the deceased owned. Often times the children and widows who are subjected to such oppression can end up being homeless and destitute as a result of the abuse they endure at the hands of relatives.

In order to justify their vile actions, these relatives often evoke some flimsy “tradition” as an excuse to violate the rights of the afflicted children and their mother but in truth no authentic tradition on Earth advocates to prey upon the helpless especially in times of mourning, this is the worst kind of abuse.

The creation of this painting aims at addressing a serious issue which has more so to do with heartlessness, covetousness and dishonesty. I always wanted to address this great injustice that touches too many African children when they lose their father. Working on this painting was one of the most intense experience, it brought me great hope because even though the piece depicts the pain ill-intended family members inflict upon mourning widows and orphans, it more so shows the triumph of Divine Mercy which surrounds all the evil schemes ill-intended family members cowardly direct at children and their mother during the most vulnerable moment of their life.

“O Allah! You be the witness that I consider any violation of the rights of orphan and woman as an enormity entailing serious consequences!”
~ Prophet Muhammad (saw)

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