Making Paradise — Exhibition Exploring the concept of Eden through Art & Islamic Garden Design
Currently on at the Aga Khan Centre Gallery in London is a fantastic show entitled Making Paradise. Curated by Esen Kaya, the exhibition brings together twenty two international artists and stimulates senses alongside the visual.
The walls of the gallery are transformed into the four symbolic quadrants of the Chahar Bagh, based on the ‘four gardens’ of Paradise in the Qur’an. Anchoring the show is a silent fountain (seen above and below), designed by renowned Islamic garden designer Emma Clark. From this springs a bespoke paper-cut installation of organic forms, created by American collage and installation artist Clare Celeste Börsch.
Embriodery, hand-stitched textiles, Islamic geometry, gold work, traditional ceramic work, collage and modern applique techniques add to the wonderfully rich and diverse presentation which show the many facets and depictions of Paradise.
What makes this show stand out from others is the bespoke perfume created by Alessandro Cancian which infuses the space. When creating the scent, he called upon his own memory of gardens along with his own studies on scents throughout history. The perfume features the sweet Mediterranean aroma of broom and mandarin along with the pink pepper and tulsi, the holy basil of India and a herb much favoured in Ayurveda.
There is even another sensorial layer — the soundscape created by Geoff Sample is an incredible background track which feature birdsong and nature sounds that completely transports the viewer into an atmosphere of paradise.
A small room is dedicated to a video which highlights the many garden restoration and development projects achieved by the Aga Khan Development Network and powerfully conveys the message of His Highness Aga Khan IV.
Curator Esen Kaya explains ‘We are honoured to present an exhibition which embraces such diversity of artistic practice, and which visitors of all ages and backgrounds can delight in. Gardens are such important spaces and certainly in this time of Covid they have become even more important for people to be in. It feels timely to celebrate the concept of gardens and paradise at a time when our lives have been so restricted.
If you are in London this is a show not to miss which genuinely brings the viewer into a wonderful slice of paradise.
Making Paradise includes the work of Islamic garden designer Emma Clark, the perfumer Alessandro Cancian and sound recordist Geoff Sample. Alongside visual artists Farkhondeh Ahmadzadeh, Veeda Ahmed, Mohammad Barrangi, Jung Byun, Clare Celeste Börsch, Jethro Buck, Rachel Dein, Ayesha Gamiet, Yasmin Hayat, Sharmina Haq, Zarah Hussain, Olga Lobanova, Jane Lee McCracken, Masako Newton, Karen Nicol, Olga Prinku, Shorsh Saleh, Soraya Syed and Ross P Taylor
You can book in your free ticket via the information below.