Enigmatic Talismans is inspired from the symbols found in Ethiopian healing scrolls. Originally they were produced to provide live spiritual power in the physical world. “I find the various symbols captivating, fantastic creatures, faces, eyes, angels, and patterns that blur the line between traditional function and contemporary abstraction. “The paper is made from flax paper with deckle edges to have the appearance and texture of the parchment that was historically used in the Ethiopian scrolls. The covers are made from transparent Plexiglas that reveals the overlapping symbols, generating new meanings.
paper, plexiglass, linen thread
About the artist:
Islam Aly is currently an assistant professor of Art Education in the Department of Art at the University of Northern Iowa. At Helwan University, Egypt he received a BA and an MA in Art Education; afterward, he graduated from the University of Iowa, with an MFA in Book Arts and a Ph.D. in Teaching and Learning with a concentration in Art Education. His books explore the possibilities of historical bindings in contemporary book art practice. He has combined book traditions with digital technologies. His work is created at the junction between culture, technology, and aesthetics.