“YOU TOO CAN CHOOSE TO DANCE IN LIGHT DIVINE DELIGHT THE STARS AND DEEP EARTHLY MINE…” – RUMI
Longworth Gallery’s Rahileh Rokhsari, whose name translates to “travelling girl,” left her home in Iran to experience living and painting in other countries, eventually settling in Turkey. “Painting on the spot led me to discover the various effects of light on colour in nature, and forced me to summarize details due to lack of time while painting live,” she says. “This was how I realised I am more affected by colours than forms and lines. My paintings started to transform gradually and my taste for abstract became visible. I became familiar with Semazan dancing, which has its roots in the mystique of Sufi philosophy and the teachings of Rumi, the 13th century Persian poet.”
The dissolution of form and self into unity, exemplified by the spinning motion of the Semazan dancers (commonly known as Whirling Dervishes), paralleled Rokhsai’s desire to meld the subject with the abstract, as if in perfect harmony with the divine. “In wishing to find common ground between different cultures,I utilised the commonality of historic spiritual leaders and their ritualistic use of red wine,” she explains
She continues: “We aerate red wine by swirling it inside the glass. As it gathers energy, it opens the bouquet, a metaphor for opening the heart. As the energy rises further, a Whirling Dervish appears with arms outstretched; one hand points to the celestial heights, the other toward the earth, with the body acting as the conduit between the two realms. Full rapture is achieved as the Dervish ascends toward “The Light,” which embodies both the personal and emotional. To many, this symbolizes the journey to be the best we can be: to respect and be respected, to love and be loved in return. Everybody wishes to bathe in this light.” With two glasses of red wine, may we toast to the good health of the other, celebrating what we have in common as well as our individuality. Meet Rahileh Rokhsari for her solo exhibition: RUMI ON CANVAS
Opening reception: Friday, 8th July, 5 P.M. to 8 P.M.
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