Shenaz Mahomed:The Quran and Jihad – Approx. 164, and: The Quran and Peace – Approx. 291, laser cut mild steel
My practice involves a reflective reading of traditional Islamic visuals forms of art and written text as a means to communicate present-day encounters. I aim to interrogate my daily practice of religion and ritual by mapping relations and traces of my actions into art objects.
The works, 'The Quran and Jihad – Approx. 164', and 'The Quran and Peace – Approx. 291' are laser cut mild steel sculptures that were created in the style of traditional Quran book covers / sleeves. Book sleeves do not usually possess extensive content and is mainly used as a protective covering. The laser cut patterns on the two works cover the surfaces with an estimate of the number of verses in the Quran that mention Jihad (war - 164 verses) and Peace (compassionate living – 291 verses) respectively. This was further converted according to the sculpture scale with the "sleeve" covered in pattern according to the approximate percentages. A vast difference becomes clear as the pattern coverage
for Peace is almost doubled.
The idea of leaving out the pages (book contents) and direct text relating to these topics aims to depict and highlight a lack of knowledge and understanding regarding such sensitive subject matter. The works intentionally play on the idiom ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ by cheekily introducing the viewer to specific content on the cover itself.
Shenaz Mahomed (b. 1992) obtained both her BA (2014) and MA (2019) degree in Fine Arts at the University of Pretoria. Mahomed is currently registered for her PhD in Digital Culture and Media Studies. Her research project entails exploring online platforms assites for exhibition and implementation of alternative hybrid curatorial strategies, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. Mahomed has participated in a number of prestigious art competitions in South Africa and was the winner of the David Koloane Mentorship Award with the Bag Factory Artist Studios in 2016.