Cari amici dell’Arte,
Quelle est votre Excuse?
The journey asks of you a lion’s heart.
The road is long, the sea is deep – one flies
First buffeted by joy and then by sighs;
If you desire this quest, give up your soul
And make our Sovereign’s court your only goal.
First wash your hands of life if you would say:
« I am a pilgrim of our Sovereign’s Way;
Renounce your soul for love; He you pursue
Will sacrifice His inmost soul for you.
It was in China, late one moonless night,
The Simorgh first appeared to mortal sight –
He let a feather float down through the air,
And rumours of its fame spread everywhere;
Throughout the world men separately conceived
An image of its shape, and all believed
Their private fantasies uniquely true!
(In China still this feather is on view,
Whence comes the saying you have heard, no doubt,
« Seek knowledge, unto China seek it out. »)
If this same feather had not floated down,
The world would not be filled with His renown –
It is a sign of Him, and each heart
There lies this feather’s hidden counterpart.
But since no words suffice, what use are mine
To represent or to describe this sign?
Whoever wishes to explore the Way,
Let him set out – what more is there to say? »
The hoopoe finished, and at once the birds
Effusively responded to his words.
All praised the splendour of their distant King;
All rose impatient to be on wing;
Each would renonce the Self and be the friend
Of his companions till the journey’s length,
They hesitated; their ambitious strength
Dissolved: each bird, according to his kind,
Felt flattered but reluctantly declined.
Extract – The Conference of the Birds – by Farid Ud-din Attar (Penguin classics) translated by Afkham Darbandi and Dick Davis
à lire: Ce n’est pas une Excuse
Lasting Impressions: Thuraya Al Baqsami at Sharjah Art Museum (UAE) till 16 Dec 2017
Sharjah Art Museum is to open the UAE’s first exhibition dedicated to the award-winning Kuwaiti artist and writer, Thuraya Al-Baqsami.
‘Lasting Impressions: Thuraya Al-Baqsami’ is the eighth edition of the Lasting Impressions exhibition series that pays tribute to the region’s most influential artists.
The exhibition brings together more than 200 of Thuraya Al-Baqsami’s paintings, posters, drawings and illustrations dating back to the 1960s. It will take visitors on a journey through the artist’s life in cities including Cairo, Moscow and Dakar, as well as showcase her visual interpretation of events that affected the region, including the Gulf War.
« In choosing the subjects of the Lasting Impressions series, Sharjah Art Museum carefully selects regional artists who have made a profound impact. Thuraya’s works spanning half a century have done more than any to capture the modernisation of the Gulf through one artist’s journey. »