Over 50 Years of Art | Welcome to Ali Omar Ermes
HARF UL DAL

HARF UL DAL

This piece is about the power of the single stroke technique which Ali Omar Ermes employs as a hallmark of a number of his works.

It explores the vast richness of the Arabic language and the magnitude of the depth of expression in Arabic with the simplest and most direct method or as complicated as you wish.

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TUGHRA

TUGHRA

This vibrant piece contains the verse from the learned philosopher-poet Abul Ala Al Ma’arri, in which he says:

“When I utter the implausible, I can shout it out loud without fear or favour, but when I speak of the truth I have to whisper”

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LA TAHZANN – DO NOT DESPAIR

LA TAHZANN – DO NOT DESPAIR

At a glance, this artwork presents an array of fresh, sunny colours handled with ease and splendour.

It features poems by Abdul Rahman Al Attawi reiterating that he is firmly adamant that nothing will make him lose heart against hardship nor will he lose sight or be swept away in false glory.

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LETTER FORM FA

LETTER FORM FA

This artwork portrays a very tranquil state of mind over harmonious quiet colours. The poem is by the eminent Islamic poet Hassan Ibnil Thabit (the Prophet’s poet, PBUH). The poem says in what could be interpreted like this (praising Al Ansar in Madinah):

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THE SIXTH ODE

THE SIXTH ODE

This is one of a group of seven paintings that celebrates the Seven Odes of Arabic poetry, Al Muallaqat As Sabaa or Prize Poems, which enjoy a special place in Arabic literature due to their power of eloquence and historic relevance.

When a poem was judged to be exceptional, it was embroidered in gold on silk cloth and hung on the Kaaba as a sign of general acclaim. Over the years, the Prize Poems which were thus hung at the Kaaba assumed a universal context and appeal.

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THE DAWN BREAK

THE DAWN BREAK

Between the elements of colours and sound, it is self-evident that we have a state of comprehension, a state of wanting for new beginnings.

Poems by Qotam Ebni Khabeeh, known as Sullotan, advising his son in a storytelling manner about life and values, this piece of poetry has a very rare property of combining the deadliest serious of all matters in the most beautifully sweet and musically moving sounds. Where you forget that what you hear is so deadly serious and some times frightening about life and responsibility to the point of panic.

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ALI OMAR ERMES WITH AFAQ CALLIGRAPHY – BBC عربي

في هذه الحلقة من آفاق يتحدث الفنان والمفكر الليبي علي عمر الرميص عن اعماله الفنية واهمية الخط العربي كما نتابع اجمل انواع الخطوط العربية من تونس ومن لبنان مع الخطاط فارس ملاعب ومن باريس مع الفنان والخطاط غني العاني اضافة الى آثار الامازيغ في ليبيا كما تشاهدون معرض حد في لندن لفنانات عربيات منعت اعمالهن من العرض في بلادهن. آفاق من اعداد وتقديم وسام الصايغ

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LAM ALIF LIBNUL MUTTAZZ

LAM ALIF LIBNUL MUTTAZZ

This stunning piece displays the power of contrast in colour. The clear-cut ideas, between the visual and the writing in poetry.

The poem featured in this artwork is by Abbassi Amir Ibnal Muttaaz.

It reflects the historical state of the Abbassid Caliph in the Amir Al Mu’mineen’s times in the ninth century at the heart of the Arab lands and Muslim civilisation.

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REFLECTIONS ON THE ART OF ALI OMAR ERMES

REFLECTIONS ON THE ART OF ALI OMAR ERMES

The artwork featured in this article is (by order of appearance) Iqra – Read! (1991) acquired by the Centre for Islamic Studies, Malaysia; Kaf – Power of Expression (1991) held in the Freer Gallery, Smithsonian Museum, Washington D.C ; and – The Positive La (1990) acquired by a private collector.

Riad Nourallah is Senior Lecturer at the Diplomatic Academy of London.

Seeing Ali Omar Ermes in his studio with brush flowing on paper, one cannot but recall the uncanny ease and confidence with which the great painters move their brushes on canvas or accomplished dancers move their bodies on stage, a deceptive ease about which education and training can offer only a partial explanation, and a confidence that seems to mock our daily doubts and countless stumbles and hesitations. And though one has to acknowledge every artist’s, and Ermes’ own, indebtedness to a long and rich tradition, one will inevitably be reminded of T.S. Eliot’s image of a museum (as a metaphor for a nation’s and by extension the world’s cultural heritage) being reorganized, enhanced and updated by every new talent and contribution.

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ANANAH (NARRATIVE STREAM)

ANANAH (NARRATIVE STREAM)

The “Narrative Stream” refers to the practice of passing ideas and tradition down the line. The abstract imagery of the artwork is complemented by five pieces of poetry ranging in period from the pre-Islamic to the contemporary times.

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KALLA

KALLA

La, Kalla, Wa Lau – This is a trio.

Recalls samples of poetry which rejects domination by big powers as much as it rejects acts of terrorism by individuals, states or invading armies as much as it condemns corruption, environmental and cultural abuses.

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INTRODUCTION TO ALI OMAR ERMES’ ARTWORK

INTRODUCTION TO ALI OMAR ERMES’ ARTWORK

An exhibition of the works of a contemporary Arab artist such as Ali Omar Ermes needs some preliminary introduction to a British audience. For his painting has its ultimate source, not in the more familiar traditions of the western world, but the Muslim Arab culture of the Near East and North Africa. To Muslims, divine revelation is enshrined in the Quran, revealed through the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH). That revelation is written in Arabic and, as such, is a transcription of an Arabic Quran which exists in heaven eternally. Hence, the Arabic words of the Quran have an incomparable significance and holiness, far surpassing, for example, the reverence in the past according to the text of the Vulgate (the Latin Bible) in western Christianity. By extension, Arabic word and letterforms, in general, have innate holiness, and the art of Arabic calligraphy takes on unique significance as the artist seeks the perfect curves, the perfect proportions, the perfect spacing of letters for this most holy language.

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POSSESSION

POSSESSION

These are the letters seen, sheen, Ssadd and dhad in a form where the structure of the artwork is held tightly by the composition structures.

The poetry is by Al Motannabbi who says:

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MUTHAQAFAT ABI TAMMAM

MUTHAQAFAT ABI TAMMAM

Abu Tammam is one of the most excellent of Arab poets, he lived during the Abbasid time and he was known for his innovation in Arabic poetry and literature as he brought rich colour and added new tones of musical expression in it.

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SHAWARED AL MOTANNABBI

SHAWARED AL MOTANNABBI

Al Motannabbi is one of the few poets in Arabic Literature where people recall poetry in its absolute meaning when they hear his name. Even though Arabic literature is rich with thousands of highly important poets who affected the human spirits with their power of beauty in their poetic expression throughout history. So Al Motannabbi is synonymous with poetry and as he said a long time ago (during the Abbasid times, 1,200 years or so), that he releases his breath of poetry in a casual unintentional way and people engage in the fiercest of debates and arguments about them for the rest of their lives. Within the artwork, Ali Omar Ermes has gathered a few of these for the viewer’s benefit.

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AHAJE JUHA

AHAJE JUHA

Juha was and still is a very important figure in Arabic literature (mainly the verbal literature) and Juha was a name for Dujain ibn Thabit in the early days of Islamic civil society (1,400 years approx.) with a very rich collection of humour in contradicted forms of wisdom and foolish or unpredictable material, which all make a sounding point of view towards people, politics and behaviour of the society in all its endeavours.

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AT TAA, FIELD OF ELOQUENCE

AT TAA, FIELD OF ELOQUENCE

The painting has quotes from Al’Aqd Al Farid on the four principal paths that eloquence can take by way of assertion, inference, writing, and gesture.

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LA TAHINN: DO NOT ALLOW SELF-DEGRADATION

LA TAHINN: DO NOT ALLOW SELF-DEGRADATION

At a glance, this artwork presents a strong culture, an array of fresh, pleasant colours handled with ease and splendor.

Poems by Abi Firas Al Hamadani about standing head high dignified and proud even tho ugh the world could be against you.

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AAAKHEN AKH!

AAAKHEN AKH!

A quote by Dr. Riad Nourallah (Senior Lecturer at the Diplomatic Academy of London) describes this artwork well:

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MEEM, THA, ALIF – TURAATH (HERITAGE) -  تراث – م ت أ

MEEM, THA, ALIF – TURAATH (HERITAGE) - تراث – م ت أ

A symbol of heritage, as we inherit what we inherit to appreciate and to look after this heritage, thus enabling it to reach the next generations.

The poem is by the Abbasid poet Abu Al-Ataahiah, who tells us

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CONTRADICTIONS OF JOY

CONTRADICTIONS OF JOY

The abstract imagery of the work is complemented by a poetical quip that the melody of a songbird while being sweet can also be fatally overwhelming – in other words, in joy, there is sorrow too.

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LA (NO)

LA (NO)

This artwork is one of a trio.

It recalls samples of poetry which reject domination by big powers as much as it rejects acts of terrorism by individuals, states or invading armies as much as it condemns corruption, environmental and cultural abuses. Lines of poetry expressing in general or some in specific terms that we are all in this together.

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NOON – THE SHARP AND COMPETENT

NOON – THE SHARP AND COMPETENT

Preparing the mental state, bringing all elements of the piece you want to work on, between the simplicity or the complexity of colour, the instrument of application in material such as colour, brush, paper, canvas, etc. Not to mention the body of the artwork, sizes, spaces, positions etc but most important of all is the preparation of the mental state before the moment of application and along with that until a satisfactory result is achieved.

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THE FIFTH ODE

THE FIFTH ODE

This is one of a group of seven paintings that celebrates the Seven Odes of Arabic poetry, al muallaqat as sabaa or Prize Poems, which enjoy a special place in Arabic literature due to their power of eloquence and historic relevance.

When a poem was judged to be exceptional, it was embroidered in gold on silk cloth and hung on the Kaaba as a sign of general acclaim. Over the years, the Prize Poems which were thus hung at the Kaaba assumed a universal context and appeal.

Continue Reading →