Journey of Surrogacy and Resilience 2010
Etching on paper, found objects on wooden box
70cm x 90cm
Entry in Blake Art Prize 2011 – selected for Directors Cut online
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To all pilgrims to the Kaabah in Mecca, ZamZam water is considered the most scared gift to bring from their sacred journey as they perform their rituals around the Kaabah (built by the father of all prophets Abraham – peace be upon him). They remember Hajar’s steps during her desperate search for water to save her son Ismail. The Kaabah provides a place of peace, unity and equality among people from many cultural backgrounds. Muslims pray towards this sacred site: It is the meeting place for people from around the globe, where feuds and conflicts are put aside as peace prevails.
Hajar’s gifts of water as well as the birth of her son, Ismail, become a symbol of endurance. Her answer to bear a child for Sarah, who was barren, is the ultimate sacrifice. Later on Sarah was to be blessed with having a child of her own as the prophesy came to be granted and despite her advanced age she bore Isaac.
My work celebrates the significant duties that Hajar and Sarah have accomplished in the name of God and the important roles they have both carried out during the life of Abraham. Hajar’s predicament would not have existed if it wasn’t for Sarah’s predicament. Both women valued the importance of their children Ismail and Isaac. Although Sarah and Hajar have both drifted away from each other, they are still considered the two pivotal branches in the family tree of believers.
On the upper side of my piece I placed a shape of a tree to represent Adam (peace be upon him) and how the three major religions all rise from the same beginning.
In the centre of the work I emphasise in placing the Kaabah structure as a symbol for a place of peace as it is a duty for all of us to make peace the centre and the goal of our contemporary lives.
In the lower side of my installation box resides a tray holding ritual objects that honour the gift of birth, the gift of the soil (in the shape of roses) and a leather siqqa, as the gift of water.
All would signify the offering of love, peace and water.