"Alif Dhammah: The Power of a Single Stroke" is an impactful artwork that explores the complex and nuanced nature of language. At the center of the piece is the letter Alif, rendered in bold black strokes against a vibrant orange background. The position of the stroke around the hamzah determines the sound of the letter, in this case creating the "oo" sound of the Dhammah.
This artwork, created in 1997, is part of a series that examines the many different sounds and meanings that can be conveyed through a single letter. It invites the viewer to consider the profound power of language and the role it plays in shaping our understanding of the world.
Poetry by Ma'an Ebni Awess, an early Islamic poet and son of a pre-Islamic poet, adds depth and meaning to the artwork. Ebni Awess's words offer a glimpse into the rich and varied history of Arab literature, reminding us of the enduring power of the written word.
Measuring 150cm x 100cm and crafted from acrylic on paper mounted on canvas, "Alif Dhammah: The Power of a Single Stroke" is a striking and thought-provoking artwork. It currently resides with a private collector, where it continues to inspire and engage the viewer's imagination.
Here is an example poem by Ma'an Ebni Awess:
The beauty of the written word
Lies in its power to transport us
To distant lands and distant times
To the deepest corners of the human soul
Through the magic of language
We can explore the infinite
And here is an example poem exploring the many different sounds and meanings that can be conveyed through a single letter:
The letter Alif, so simple and stark
Yet it holds within it a world of meaning
A single stroke, yet it can convey
So much depth and emotion
From the soft purr of the Dhammah
To the sharp bite of the Fathah
The Alif is a true master of language
A symbol of the infinite possibilities
That lie within the written word.
This breathtaking piece by Ali Omar Ermes showcases the versatility and depth of the Arabic language through the use of a single stroke technique. Through this technique, Ermes is able to convey a range of emotions and expressions that range from the simplest and most direct to the most complex and nuanced.