Not Currently on Display
Aisha Khalid’s Water has never feared the fire 2018 measures nearly five metres high. The sharp, gold-plated and steel pins, piercing several layers of cloth, add a three-dimensional, sculptural element to the work. Its design is based on the quadrilateral garden design of the Charbagh (‘four gardens’ in the Urdu language), which is based on the Islamic garden from the Qur’an, a principal symbol for paradise on earth.
Four sections constitute the four gardens of paradise (soul, heart, spirit and essence), which are delineated by four water channels representing the four rivers of paradise. Within the four sections, the artist has depicted dragons and phoenix, while the outer panels, representing water patterns, feature sea creatures and ships symbolising trade and the movement of peoples and cultures.
Aisha Khalid uses traditional art forms and techniques to make contemporary artworks. Her visual language is based on the pattern, colour and geometry found in Persian culture. Her large-scale hanging tapestries — embedded with thousands of pins — highlight her background in miniature painting, textiles and pattern-making.
With a rich knowledge of centuries-old traditions, Aisha Khalid honours — but also challenges — how their principles operate in our world today. She contributes to the evolution of these traditions, and translates their meanings to a contemporary audience.