The inscriptions quote from two movingly eloquent verses on the plight of the world’s poor and the excesses of the rich. The first, by the poet Al-Abbas ibn Al-Ahnaf, says the world has nothing but contempt and hatred for the poor even though his guilt is only the lack of material wealth.
So deep is the disdain for the poor, says the poet, that even the dog in the street that wags its tail at a richly attired person seems to run barking after the poor man ready to sink his teeth into his tattered clothes and body.
The other piece by Abu Al Ayna underscores the power of material wealth in the day-to-day dealings in society. The man in rich clothes enjoys not only respect because of his grand appearance, says the poet, he also enjoys greater credibility than the man who has no material wealth to show. Such is the irony of this situation, he says, that money lends a rich man undeserved eloquence and deprives the most eloquent of the poor of their well-desired accolade and acceptance. (From the Daiwans of the two poets).
Original production date: 1991
Artwork Size: 85cm x 70cm
Materials: Acrylic and ink on paper
Location of Original: Artist’s Collection
A quotation from the poet Salm Al Khaser cites the attributes of a great personality. It can be interpreted like this:
“A great personality shows itself in firm control, in the face of great dangers and shifting grounds with a never wearing determination to do the right acts in the right ways with tremendous ability to absorb anger, fear and frustration in the face of adversity. And has the generous ability to accommodate people with less capacity then themselves in difficult times.”
This artwork conveys a range of bright, powerful colours in yellows, olive greens, and related colours, with a busy lively link between foreground and background.
The Arabic word Silah, when translated in English, has a variety of related meanings including connection, linkage, bond, tie, relation, and charity.