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Responses to Islamic Art

Silver Garland and Women's Shoes

(Tanzeela) The two objects I chose for the timeline:

Silver Garland (2001)

Vanetta Secharren (Born 1969)

Traditionally flower garlands are offered as a mark of respect, honour and welcome. This is an important ritual in many cultures all across the World. The delicately beautiful garland is made up of silver and silk thread rather than standard garlands made up of actual flowers.The garland has a silver full-blown rose with a receptacle in which a natural rose can be placed.


A rose is nature's perfection. It is a beautiful asset brought from the ground, nurtured by nature and offered to the World. When I first saw this piece I automatically thought it was meant as a decoration piece for a woman, perhaps a gift from her husband on their wedding night, to represent their coming life. Since it is a garland, I feel it must show that the husband and wife are united, and the silver represents hard times they may face in life, but with the natural rose in the garland, it to me means that despite the hard times, they will both receive what the rose stands for, eternal bounty, honour, love and affection.

Although silver is thought of as a hard material, I was very impressed at how it looked very delicate in the form of a rose. The rose reminds me of a piece I have embroidered with glass beads. I chose to embroider a rose, as it is something that has no restrictions.


The rose reminds me of the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) as they were referred to as a rose.This piece also reminds me of a nebula, nicknamed "Cat's Eye Nebula" which has been mentioned in the Holy Qur'an in Surat ar- Rahman (Chapter 55) and has been said to look like a red rose. A rose is used to describe women in Islam, as women are said to be treated with love and affection, all that a rose represents. A rose is a creation, which has no limit to what it can offer. It can be used for so many things and in so many ways. It is a traditional token of true love and affection between loved ones. It is often used in poetry, and linked to the heart. It has been used for medicine purposes for a very long time.


Women’s shoes

These stylish and attractive women's shoes were designed and brought to existence in the early 18th Century. They are fabricated using wood, leather and textile; Iranian silk covering. The decoration on these shoes is believed to be of Chinese origin. 

These shoes serve a different purpose to the shoes we have become accustomed to in our contemporary era. They were fashioned for a practical reason, the purpose for them were fundamentally for the bathhouses. The soles on the shoes were unglazed and so were used for personal hygiene means. The soles served as a rubbing mechanism, to rid the body of dead skin and dirt. As time went by these shoes were used as inspiration for other artists work. For instance Ceramic slipper-shaped object d art were modelled in light to the woman's shoes.


These shoes remind me of old classical music, their shape is very much like a music note. It also reminds me of classic theatre dance and drama. It is a very aristocratic shoe, it brings to mind the Victorian era and the ironic thing is that the Victorians were not aware of hygiene until later and the shoe is a hygiene instrument.

It is a very timeless shoe as you could very easily buy a shoe similar in design now. The shoe also comes across as a masculine shoe despite the heel, which is rather chunky, as opposed to elegant women's shoes.

This shoe stirs a lot of questions, how did the whole cleansing concept come to be? Why was this rubbing mechanism shaped as a shoe? The rich and delicate fabric in conjunction with the masculine shape of the shoe arouses the question of whether it was meant specifically for the Upper class person.


History of Shoes:

The field of shoes is very interesting. They were once used as a practicality in order to walk with some comfort. It can be seen they have developed tremendously, since shoes now are used for fashion reasons. Initially shoes were formed of animal skin to wrap up the feet and now have advanced to a stage where they are embedded with luxury. Shoes are used by many as a feature, which represents one's social status. They have come onto the cat walks in immeasurable designs and have become an obsession for many people. Shoes are no longer a mere practicality; they are tools of social battles. The general concept to shoes has changed so much from that very first shoe, which was simply a clothing item for feet, to the point now where people are judged by the kind of shoes they wear.

Document icon Learning article provided by: Cartwright Hall Art Gallery | 

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