55. Decoration for door to the Grand Mosque


1979 CE
1400 AH
Found in 2015 on demolition site

The day I was taken away from the site of the Grand Mosque, someone, somewhere, sighed with relief. I am the last of the remnants from the fateful time in 1979 when bullets cut through this metal, shooting out from the Ka’aba.

My form is geometric; my metals are gold, copper and steel. I am only one element within the arabesque, and who knows why our forms were first created and by whom? Some say it was the Islamic mathematicians, others that we have religious derivations. No one can know for certain, but they do believe that we somehow reflect a human understanding of the world around us, rather than the human form itself. For each of us is a beauty to behold, but we are infinitely extendable, working within a whole that goes beyond the human capacity for understanding.

In the grand mosque, we fill every window and every door, so that when you look from your balcony on the higher floors of the Clock Tower Hotel, you will see the beauty of our geometry. Our shapes are manifested in decorations, outer shells for the heart of a faith that defies any logical theory.

This work transcends the objects. Ultimately, what I’m working with isn’t only the artefacts themselves, but the stories attached to them. For me, each tale is the manifestation of the object, and each object is a tangible materialisation of an underlying narrative. The work finds its equilibrium somewhere between the stories and chronology they’re chaptered into, the objects becoming knots or points along the timeline, woven into stories as part of the language of this artwork. Each story draws out a tale that intends to trigger imagination and memory, mixing fact with fiction, with the ultimate aim of straddling, conflating and confusing fixed notions of history to open up the unofficial histories that shape the character of place and memory.
Ahmed Mater
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