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Dhikr: Painting the heartbeat of Sufism by Saif Osmani

A Barbican Music Library Exhibition

Geometric illustration

Dhikr is the rhythmic repetition in remembrance of the Creator. This body of new paintings examines the line between faith and musical expression.

By researching the likes of Mowlana Jalaluddin Rumi, Shamsuddin Muhammad Hafiz and Amir Khusrow, Saif traces the communality and increasing separation of Islamic teaching from popular Sufi poetry, songs and artistic discourse. The artworks question corporeal representation, what is permissible in hermeneutic theory and ask whether there is a space for the unseen and indefinable. The artist says: “Science is discovering that the heart also holds memories, and the heart is where the Sufis start from”. Saif Osmani is an interdisciplinary visual artist of British-Bangladeshi background who has previously curated and exhibited his works across the UK, in Europe and in Asia.

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