The philosophical paradigm of my art practice considers Islam’s triadic ontology of the Sensible, Imaginal, and Intelligible realms, each more real than the preceding realm. Each domain has its corresponding mode of perception, of which imagination is the isthmus that connects the purely sensory faculties of the body with incorporeal modes of intellect, al-Aql. Persian Muslim philosopher Shihab ud Deen Suhrawardi [1154-1191] describes the Imaginal as an extension of images of this world without any materiality, opening out to the world of the imagination and the suprasensory.
Suhrawardi’s Imaginal develops in the subsequent process ontology of Mulla Sadra Shirazi [1571-1640]; he describes tashkik ul Wajud, intensification in existence, as a continuous and perpetual flow of a singular Being in all realms, which is Noor e Ilahy, the divine light of Being. Each particle of existence— material or immaterial, image or Imaginal—may be found in the cascading intensity of noor, light. I explore these potentials in my major body of work Hayakal al Noor, luminous Bodies of Light.