Letterforms of Sorcery
The role of Arabic letterforms in sorcery & Islamic mythology
Before modern science brought vaccines, anti-venoms, and medical treatments for psychological disorders, Muslims have been drawn towards amulets and amuletic designs, healing bowls, blessed water, and talismanic shirts to protect individuals from visible and invisible harm. Such artifacts and objects have helped protect and heal. They emerged from spheres of elite knowledge, science, and art during the premodern period. The protective arts of Islam showcase the human urge to seek protection and healing in difficult times through the visual arts and material objects. Today, these items tend to be classified as objects of popular belief and even ‘superstition’.

Through this installation, I am exploring the role of Arabic letterforms in bringing sorcery and healing power to an everyday object, and questioning what gives a traditional artifact such power. The installation explores the rich and fertile history of letterforms beyond their traditionally known religious and decorative use.

Textile and acrylic plexiglas.
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