For my Fitra series I am reflecting on a foundational Islamic concept regarding the nature of human beings. Contrary to the Christian faith my parents were raised in, in the Islamic faith they converted to – there is no concept of original sin. To the contrary, as a child, my parents taught me that according to Islamic teachings all people are born pure and without sin. This pure nature is our “Fitra” and it is key to our connection to our Creator and our divine purpose. Our Fitra is our most “authentic” and natural state.
Inspired by the Book of Sufi Healing, for the Fitra series I reference a story about how humanity came to learn about the healing properties of plants as each one revealed its special properties to the King Prophet Solomon who later passed down this knowledge for generations to come. Amber is one of the ten healing plants discussed in the Book of Sufi Healing. Amber is known for its ability to heal our hearts – spiritual and physical.
Like a seed of any plant, it is only through breaking ourselves open and allowing ourselves to shift and be transformed do we reveal our highest purpose, express the best of who we are and share our unique gift with the world. For the Fitra: Amber series I use the same colors repeatedly in unique ways to express the various possibilities and shifting purposes that even the same color can hold. I painted in watercolor because this is the first art medium I recall learning as a child. Each painting is named after a child in my family – my own and nieces and nephews. Children remind us of our fitra – the great potential, pure and special nature that we all have.
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