“Whispering Reeds in Woven Gardens” is an exhibition of the visual artist Irini Gonou composed of seven in situ ritual installations integrating the restorative elements of the Islamic garden with the protective power of the written word in Arabic script.
“As a jannah or a bustan the Islamic garden and its archetype of paradise is nature in its tamed state and the serenity and harmony this provides. The arrangement and structure of my woven gardens – with articulated fields of plant-imbued fabrics irrigated with water-like indigo blue areas – are a reference to the Islamic garden paradigm. In the sequel, cotton, linen or silk cloths are dyed naturally with roots, barks, leaves or flowers and filled with their protective qualities. I explore the concept that in many traditional societies and cultures cloth is believed to be a living thing, it records life. And, as a storyteller narrates, filled with signs and permeated with plants, it can be a messenger emitting healing and protective essences.
In Islamic culture script is considered to have magical force and the written word provides supernatural protection.
My whispering reeds – which are both ornamental amulets and writing implements – are inscribed in Arabic with the verses of the Syrian poet Adonis, offering in this way their protection through art”.
The exhibition will take place on October 2014 at the Imaret and at the Mohammed Ali Museum in Kavala, Greece
1st International Conference
“Aspects of Islamic gardens: Multi-meanings of paradise”
Organized by I.M.A.R.E.T. (Institute Mohamed Ali for the Research of the Eastern Tradition) and EMATTECH (Eastern Macedonia & Thrace Institute of Technology).