Islamic Art – An African Interpretation

Not of a specific time, place, medium, or even religion, the term 'Islamic art' describes both the art created in the service of the Muslim faith, and exemplifies all artistic traditions of the Muslim culture. As Islam is not only a religion but a way of life, it inspires the development of a distinctive culture with its own unique artistic language that is reflected in art and architecture; its strong aesthetic appeal surpassing time and space, and transcending differences between language, religion and culture.

In Islamic Art – An African Interpretation, curator Annelize Kotze endeavoured to bring together the work of a number of South African Islamic artists, including world renowned artist and Founder of SAFIA, Achmat Soni. In bringing together the work of artists from various backgrounds, this exhibition seeks to celebrate the diversity of Islam, and of who we are as a people of Africa, and constitutes an unequivocal statement: that we disavow that our Africanness be defined by our race, religion, gender or historical origins.

Exhibiting artists: 

  • Shanawaaz Salie 
  • Atika Plato-Hoosen
  • Raffiq Desai
  • Safeyah Samuels
  • Ismail Ebrahim
  • Farieda Salie
  • Zaitoon Ebrahim
  • Sabiha Jhetam-Loonat
  • Galiema Dalvie
  • Mahmudah Begum Jaffer
  • Mohammd Kamil Edwards
  • Shehnaz Suliman
  • Shaheen Soni 
  • Fahmida Harris
  • Rukaya Ballim
Islamic Art
Image caption: Achmat Soni, Ayatul Qursi (Verse of The Throne). Acrylic on canvas, African Design.

Ayatul Qursi

Allah – there is no deity except Him, the Ever-Living, the Sustainer of [all] existence. 
Neither drowsiness overtakes Him nor sleep. 
To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. 
Who is it that can intercede with Him except by His permission? 
He knows what is [presently] before them and what will be after them, and they encompass not a thing of His knowledge except for what He wills. 
His Kursi extends over the heavens and the earth, and their preservation tires Him not. 
And He is the Most High, the Most Great.