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Door to Heaven

My trip to Alhambra in Granada has been one of the inspirations for this piece. The geometric pattern on the outer wooden layer has the same design as the inside. However, in order to show the process, the design inside includes the construction lines from the pattern. This piece is named "Door to Heaven," so the outside is the world we live in, and the inside is heaven. The heaven inside is simpler and serene with handmade paper and handmade colors (from Hussain Papers). The green birds represent the birds of paradise, as mentioned in the Quran. The outer layer has a clock, as time is an element of this world and not of heaven. The clock is also symbolizing that we are waiting to get to heaven. The metal studs are also placed in the groove of the circle inside, resembling the 12,3,6 and 9 in a clock. The door has metal studs and hinges resembling a door. The back of the door is painted to make it look carved. Birds are flying on the inside and outside of the circle; some are obvious, and some are hidden, associating with the quality of our Creator as He is "Zahir"-Visible, and "Batin"-Invisible.


The geometric designs in the piece are 6-fold patterns that start from a hexagon—a symbol of heaven. The colors outside the door are maroon, blue, white, and black, the colors of the cloth from Pakistan called "ajrak." Ajrak is part of me and my identity, so I wanted to use those colors to represent my presence.

Door to Heaven

  • 20" approx

  • Mixed Media

    Gouache on wood, natural pigment on handmade paper

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