Opening tomorrow at the British Museum is Hajj: Journey to the Heart of Islam. It is an almost overwhelmingly rich exhibition of artefacts and artworks to someone (like myself) who has very little insight into the history, power and importance of the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca. Amongst the manuscripts (including an extraordinary and beautiful Qua’ran from the 8th Century), textiles, journals and imagery is a very small and elegant modern artistic interpretation of this spiritual phenomena called Magnetism.
Artist Ahmed Mater has captured the simple correlation between magnetism and the millions of Muslims who undertake Hajj. Those who are able must make the journey once in their lifetime in a collective endeavour that is also deeply personal, an attempt at finding the “heart of reality,” and the “centre of self” so that they might better understand their lives.
The effect of his art is immediate: the delicate iron fillings evoking a visual analogy of the heart of Mecca, irrepressibly composed in an evanescent movement about a black cube; the magnetised representation of the Ka’bah.
The rest of the exhibition does a wonderful job of contextualising and educating its audience, focussing on the relationship between faith and society and the continued relevance of such a profound act to so many people.
- Chaz Bundick talks us through the new digitally personable Company website
- Animator Frances Haszard’s gender neutral breakup story
- Photographer Norman Behrendt depicts Turkey’s majestic mosques
- Explore North Korean graphic ephemera in Phaidon’s new book
- “Have a process you can apply to any situation, space or time”: what we learned from Converse’s Lovejoy Art Benefit
- Standards Manual return with catalogue of 400 objects relating to New York City Transit
- Polaroid’s creative director Danny Pemberton introduces new brand Polaroid Originals
- Artist Dominique Pétrin on creating her very own domestic product
- Universal Everything animate emotive wallpapers for new iPhone devices
- Herburg Weiland’s meticulous editorial designs are typographically-driven
- The Visual History of Type author Paul McNeil selects and dissects his six favourite faces
- Breakdown Press’ Joe Kessler picks out his most-treasured books