Artist: Naznin Virji-Babul (NV-B)
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Title and Medium
“Kashf” (July 2008), Alabaster*, 22 x 24 x 10 cm
“Touched by the Essence” (Feb 2009), Clay
I began with a solid formless chunk of alabaster and gradually began the process of unveiling the beauty and essence of the form underneath – this process of painstaking chiseling and polishing to gradually reveal the essence, mirrors the journey towards the Nur.
2. Touched by the Essence
I have been drawn to the figures and images of ancient Egyptian sculptures from my last visit to Cairo. I was particularly inspired by a small wood sculpture of the head of a boy pharaoh emerging from a lotus flower. For the ancient Egyptians the emerging lotus is symbolic of the sun that is regenerated every morning following its journey to the underworld. This piece with is striking contrast of rust and blue captivated my imagination. I have tried to infuse both the colours and the symbolism of the sun’s journey in the expression of the boy in my sculpture whose face is lifted up to greet and touch the essence.
Note: Please click image to enlarge
Please also see:
Naznin Virji-Babul: Artist Profile and Statement
Naznin Virji-Babul: Woman Making Roti and Struggle
Naznin Virji-Babul: Sept 11
* About Alabaster: ALABASTER has a singular quality about it. To the sculptor there is a “feel” to it which is unique of all other stones. It says, “elegance” to the carving. The carving process is arduous and the dust is instantly gritty, not powdery like soapstone or grainy as with some marbles. When the sculpture is completed one can see not only the rendering of the artist, but the elegant beauty of the stone. If you were to snap the sculpture with the back of your finger nail it would ring.
What is so impressive is the passion that seems to drive the scientist in Naznin to merge and align with the deeply feeling and spiritually alive artist in her, to create and craft pieces of sculpture, that carry profoundly esoteric messages and symbolism.
I was deeply touched.
What a wonderful example of two ends of the spectrum (science and spirituality/faith) meeting through artistic expression… well done Naznin, we are so proud of you!
This is simply fantastic. I will put this on my blog. I should explain that Nur is a concept very much understood by our pragmatic faith of Shia Imami Ismailis under the guidance of our Living Imam, the 49th, Aga Khan IV. Ours being an esoteric faith on the essence of Islam, Nur is simply the Light Of Allah that every one of us has a spark of as well, and we can strive to get nearer to our soul’s ultimate goal which is to merge with our ultimate destination and achieve the status of fanah-fillah via meditation that we are prescribed to do. I shall put this all in my amateur blog as a category of pragmatic (faith) faith in addition of it remaining just as a comment at this stage.
Thank you for this wonderful and other works!
Ya Ali Madad, Zarina
Great work, Naznin. I love the “Woman Making Roti”