Al Asfar at Papakura Art Gallery


“We are not objects of existence but an act of existence . . . a gradation of reality” – Mullla Sadra

For this exhibition, Narjis Mirza creates an immersive space, one where we can experience the power of light. Her project explores what it means to be more fully aware of light, patterns, geometry and repetition. She uses Kufic calligraphy in her installation work, one of the earliest forms of Arabic writing to create a space of infinite shadows. In the Islamic world, God is known only through revelation (wahy) and signs (ayat). Mirza uses text and in Islamic culture, writing is an important means of communication, a metaphysical and visual gesture of God’s presence.

The title of the exhibition Asfar translates from Arabic as a journey. This installation is inspired by Asfār al-’Aqlīya al-Arba’a ‘The Four Journeys of the Intellect’, by Mulla Sadra, one of the most important philosophers in the Muslim world. For Sadra, ‘being’ is in constant flux, ‘to be’ is a journey, an act, and an experience.