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The Fall of Paradise: 19th Environmental Art Festival in Iran - Isfahan

Report  by Ahmad Nadalian, RiverArt

Thanks to the painter's association of Isfahan


During the last week of October 2008, we organized the 19th Environmental Art Festival in Iran. More than 60 artists participated in our new festival in historic city of Isfahan.  In the 17th century Isfahan was the capital of Persia.  Hence it has many religious and secular buildings decorated with features, methods and styles unique to mural decoration. These arts influenced our environmental art.



PARADISE (PARDIS) is a celestial garden.  The words of paradeisos in Greek, paradise in European languages, and firdaws in Arabic, originally came from Persia the "Avestan pairi-daeza" , meaning garden, itself was the terrestrial image of the celestial garden of paradise. The decorations of Safavid building show the manifestation of 'paradise'. The aesthetic value and beauty of Safavid art is a fruit of mysticism and spirituality of Sufism.  Safavid art teaches that man can make his paradise in this world.


This art says;      

man can see his  God by  his  heart
and can show His beauty in his art. 


Safavid art is great, because it is illuminated by the light of mysticism, and  because  it creates hope, rapture and spiritual joy.  In this respect Persian mystical poetry is richer and much more profound, but the advantage of visual work is that it can be perceived by  other  nations  and  is not limited to a certain geography, culture and time.  Today the world's nations enjoy seeing   Safavid  tiles, miniatures, carpets, etc.  No one has denied the beauty of the this mosque and its peacocks, because man loves beauty and its Divine quality.



The achievement of Safavid artists and the gift which they offered to us, is that they showed their mystical thought- concept of beauty, love and Unity- through image and pattern; and made it possible for us to see the spirituality of Sufism in the mirror of the visual art.  Thanks are due to these artists, who, in their state of mind, could perceive and visualise such images and bring them to a secular world.





We are the children of artists who realized this paradise.


Eve in Paradise





The history of the angel in Iran goes back to prehistoric times.   Angels are messengers and unseen beings.   They act as intermediaries between God and the visible world and they are a luminous and spiritual substance.  They "enter into the definition of both the macrocosm and the microcosm" (Murata, 1989: 324).





The word for 'carpet' in the Persian language shows that the design displays the earthly representation of the garden of paradise.



We have been made out of earth. We are earth artists.



We adorn ourselves and our surroundings with natural elements. 






My frogs jumped into the stream of paradise.










The death of nature is the death of humans.  The fall of nature is fall of humans.






See more photos and other reports on RiverArt's web site.

... Payvand News - 12/05/08 ... --

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