Gold leaf tea pomegranate
Dupont Chinese ink on archival Arche paper
155 cm × 105 cm
Like its title, this series irradiates apparent binaries. Mater blends the past, represented by traditional Islamic arts, with the present, through the innovations of modern medicine. He also brings together two subjects that are often treated as essentially separate and full of tense contradictions: faith and science.
“It is designed to be like the opening pages to a religious text. But much larger. Originally the craftsmen would spend a great deal of time on these pages. They’re the first thing you see. Instead of a traditional geometry, I have printed two facing X-ray images of human torsos. I prepared the paper using tea, pomegranate, coffee and other materials traditionally used on these pages. By using them you ensure that when you come to paint onto the paper it will have an extraordinarily luminous quality – the paint will truly shine. And that’s what I want to do with this piece, to illuminate. I am giving light. It’s about two humans in conversation. Us and Them. Dar a luz. So many religions around the world share this concept of giving light, not darkness – it is an idea that has reached mankind through many different windows.”
"It’s about two humans in conversation. Us and Them. Dar a luz. So many religions around the world share this concept of giving light, not darkness – it is an idea that has reached mankind through many different windows.” Ahmed Mater2008
Curator of Islamic art and head of the Art of the Middle East at the Los Angeles' County Museum writes of her first encounter with the Illuminations.
Ahmed began these works when working as a doctor and beginning his early artistic experimentations in Al-Miftaha Arts Village. They draw on his experience as a doctor, as well as his traditional Islamic education.