Posts by Fatima Zahra Hassan - ZAHRA

Visual Artist/Educator/Consultant Asia, Middle East and North Africa

A 17th century copy of Saʻdi’s collected works from the British Library Blog

The Persian writer and poet Musliḥ al-Dīn Saʻdī of Shiraz (ca.1210-1291 or 1292) are without a doubt one of the best-known and most skilful writers of classical Persian literature. With an established reputation even during his lifetime, his works have been select reading for royal princes and ʻset textsʼ for more humble students of Persian the world over. It is hardly surprising then that a corresponding number of deluxe copies survive of his works. A previous post (What were the Mughals’ favourite books?) described some copies of his best known works, the Būstān (ʻFragrant Gardenʼ or ʻOrchardʼ) and the Gulistān (ʻRose Gardenʼ), in the Library’s collection. Another sumptuous manuscript, which has also been digitised, is an early 17th century copy of his Kullīyāt (ʻCollected Worksʼ)IO Islamic 843 which was completed in 1034 (1624/25) by Maḥmūd, a scribe of Shiraz (al-kātib al-Shīrāzī), during the reign of Shah ʻAbbas (r. 1588-1629).

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Very little is known about the poet’s life. Born in Shiraz, Saʻdī left his hometown to study in Baghdad. After a period of study at the Nizamiyah Madrasah, Baghdad, he set off on travels that lasted over thirty years. His experiences and adventures found their way into his writings, including being a prisoner of the Crusaders in Syria, visiting Kashgar, and killing a temple priest at Somnath in India. Many of these tales, however, have been proved to be anecdotal rather than biographical. Saʻdī returned to Shiraz in 1257, already a widely recognised poet and completed his two most famous works: the Būstān in 1257 and the Gulistān in 1258. These two works of poetry and prose respectively, contain anecdotes from the life of the author, moral teachings, and advice for rulers. Many stories communicate elements of Sufi teachings through their dervish protagonists. Other works reflect the changing political situation in Shiraz. Several of his poems are dedicated to the Salghurid dynasty, which ruled in Fars from 1148 to 1282, while later works are addressed to their successors the Mongols and their administrators.

More: http://blogs.bl.uk/asian-and-african/2017/04/a-17th-century-copy-of-sa%CA%BBdis-collected-works-io-islamic-843.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+asian-and-african+%28Asia+and+Africa%29

A glimpse into the unseen creative studios of Hackney, East London from Creative Boom by Emily Gosling

A beautiful new photo-book lifts the lid (or creaky door) to a number of studios in Hackney, east London, presenting a fascinating insight into the lives of these creative types for all those voyeurs who prefer to be carefully ensconced behind their coffee tables.

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More: http://www.creativeboom.com/inspiration/a-glimpse-into-the-unseen-creative-studios-of-hackney-east-london/

New Alex Senna Street Art Around The East End

London Calling Blog

A few weekends back saw the return after a long break from London of Brazilian Street Artist Alex Senna who was over ahead of his current solo exhibition ‘The Nada’ at the Unit 5 Gallery – which is a fantastic show and one we will be reporting on shortly. Whilst over Alex Senna treated London to four delightful works, ranging from warm to surreal in subjects and all presented in that whimsical illustrative style that is so instantaneously Alex Senna.P1800254

Lovely work in Bacon Street featuring a delightful quaint scene with a mother cycling along carrying her trio of children.

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Surreal and fun work in Hanbury Street.

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Fun work in Yorkton Street, Hoxton outside the Unit 5 Gallery.

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Large-scale work along Hackney Road and at current our favourite of the few murals we have seen on this wall over the last year or so, such warmth. This work was put up…

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The Beautiful Wonders of Persian Architecture from 5 Cities in Iran from Arch20

Medieval Iran has witnessed the emergence of some of the most beautiful wonders of Islamic art and architecture. These wonders mostly emerged during the Safavid dynasty, when Isfahan was the capital city of Persia. The Persian architecture from the 1500s to the 1800s, known as the early modern period, featured quite distinct architecture elements like the pointed arches, the sculptural stalactites, known as ‘Muqarnas’, and the bulbous domes with floral decorations. The polychrome tiles of blue, gold, turquoise, and white cover the interiors of mosques and palaces, in the forms of complicated floral and geometric patterns as well as the Arabic calligraphy quoting verses from the Quran.
The marvellous architecture that rose in the time remains up to this day a sight to behold. It transcends you to the heavens with its otherworldly charm. So, let’s take a look at those images by photographers who managed to capture the essence of this quite unique charm.

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More: http://www.arch2o.com/beautiful-wonders-persian-architecture-5-cities-iran/

These Intricate, Hand Built Suits of Armor Are Fit for a Cat from MAKE

Jeff De Boer’s prowess with metal should come as no surprise. The son of a tinsmith, Jeff’s early artistic talent and access to metalworking tools led him to build a suit of armour in high school with the intention of wearing it to graduation.

Today, the Calgary-based artist is best known for a series of cat and mouse armour he began in college nearly 30 years ago and has continued to expand and refine.

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More: http://makezine.com/2017/03/24/cat-and-mouse-armor/

The Evolution of Chromatic Type by JAMIE CLARKE from ilovetypography.com

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Colour fonts or chromatic type are not new. The first production types appeared in the 1840s,1 reaching a peak of precision and complexity a few decades later as efficiencies in printing enabled greater creative freedom. In 1874 William H. Page of Greeneville, Connecticut, published his 100-page Specimens of Chromatic Type & Borders2 that still has the power to mesmerise designers today.

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More: http://ilovetypography.com/2017/04/03/the-evolution-of-chromatic-fonts/

Stunning Miniatures by Joshua Smith from Fubiz

Joshua Smith creates marvelous urban miniatures very detailed. His works also include graffiti, posters, even street signals and the texture of ruined building. These artworks are an hommage to neglected buildings and abandoned areas in the city. More artist’s works here.

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More: http://www.fubiz.net/en/2017/04/03/stunning-miniatures-by-joshua-smith-2/