Monday, August 2, 2010

studio four: paradise

persian paradise carpets

based on the islamic idea of paradise, designs have evolved over many generations

concepts of paradise among different cultures differ

the word paradise is of persian origin: literally meaning walled garden
(reminds me of the garden of earthly delights)

the story of garden/paradise in the genesis

adam and eve are expelled from the garden and since then have desired to go back to that garden

similar ideas in the islamic tradition and certain similar concepts in the buddhist tradition

tibetan tantric art

paradise in ancient greek culture:
perpetual spring with its own stars

garden in islam
a confined space within a wall
(however, there are several interpretations of this concept among different islamic cultures.)

some attributes of the islamic garden:
-usually rectangular
-usually include water channels
-textured plants
-the water brings sound to the space

the manifestation of this concept of paradise on carpets:

kurdish carpets, with different approaches towards the manifestation of paradise ( so they're not limited to persian carpets)

the immense amount of labour and skill that goes into producing a single carpet is in itself a metaphor of the difficulty (or even impossibility) of attaining the level of awareness and perfection one needs to be worth of "paradise"

patterns used in persian carpets and their symbolism (

the use of colour:
red great:joy
green:sacred colour

garden in persian miniatures:
babur's gardens
plants were chosen for their symbolism, their texture, etc

symbolism in alhambra

other cultures:

garden of eden is believed to be based in historical kurdistan

"the task is not so much to see what no one has yet seen, but to think what no one has thought about that which everyone sees".

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