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Ceramic Collection

Transformation of the classic Sufism poetic literature into a ceramic collection to encourage dialogue between users

Cast Porcelain, glaze, pine timber

Antahoora is a collection of seven ceramic objects, comprised of six goblets and one vessel. In the context of Sufism, the seven valleys of ascension inspired Antahoora. Each of these objects represents a step of ascension derived from the chosen verses of Hafiz Psalms (14th century). Sufism, or religion of love, was a mystical, religious and social movement through the initial history of Islam. This sect of Islam was a combination of pre-Islamic beliefs and an unorthodox reading of Islam. This romantic reading of Islam was an alternative for the prohibited elements of love, peace, music, wine, and erotism. Sufism’s symbolic language implies wine is integral to adoration, that goblets portray the hearts of mankind, that wine is love, and drunkenness an act of worship.


The Valley of Quest
Antahoora Compass
Sama Dance

The sages are the center of the compass of existence but love knoweth that, in this circle of love they head – revolving their learning in love’s path being useless

As the first step of ascension, Sufis must hold the will to disregard anything rational and only focus on the universal beloved. The spinning shape of the first goblet represents the ever-wandering and unstable lifestyle of Sufis.

O’ rose last night, the morning fire cup thou drankest at poppy, that from eternity without beggining with the iron mark of love was born, we are

Antahoora Poppy
The Valley of Love

According to Islamic view, only ever would The Divine show his face to martyrs. In the unorthodox Islamic view of Sufis, jihad and martyr have different meanings. The term of jihad means effort in Arabic and Sufis must exert significant effort to reach the beloved. Poppies symbolise martyrs due to their black spots, which reflect the bleeding chest of the topless martyr. This goblet features a diagonal design, representative of the human heart with black dots scattering the inside portraying the bleeding chest of a martyr. Hafiz claims ‘I was born with the iron mark of love on my heart like a martyr’s bleeding spot’. In fact, Hafiz believes mankind was born in love, however, only Sufis are aware of such a meaning.

The Valley of Understanding

Colour your prayer mat with wine, if Mentor bids you, traveler knows the custom and the road

In the Psalms of Hafiz, there is an imaginary character often found in his presence in the tavern. Hafiz calls him the Old Wise Man, or Mentor. The Wise Man knows the “secret” which is to be shared only to qualified mentee. In this verse, Hafiz says to paint the prayer rug with wine as the Mentor says. A prayer rug is a small mat used by Muslims in times of prayer. Prayer rugs are typically designed by incorporating the iconic pattern of an arch, illustrating mosque apse. The unglazed arch-shape featured inside the goblet is representative of a prayer rug. The colour of the unglazed ceramic will stain red after continual use, which, in turn, portrays the user colouring the prayer rug with wine.

Antahoora Prayer Rug

The fourth level of ascension refers to the fact that the lover is needless to everything other than love and adornment. In this verse, Hafiz believes love is the mythical elixir and that he is blessed, as he does not need anything else for he is in love. The inside base of this goblet, the level to which wine is poured, has a layer of golden glaze implying wine/love as the elixir. The three unusual legs of the goblet represent an alembic, a medieval laboratory apparatus to communicate the alchemic nature to the user.

Antahoora alembic

From the alchemy of love for thee, my dusty face became ruddy gold. Yes, by the happiness of your grace, soil, gold should be

In hrs steed’s hoof, appeared the form of the new moon, from hrs lofty stature, low, the stature of the lofty pine


At this level, the lover becomes astonished by the bewildering nature of the beloved. In this verse, Hafiz reaches the highest peak of exaggeration with a dreamy metaphor. Hafiz believes the moon holds the only horseshoe print of the astonishing beloved. The moon-shaped base of the goblet is illustrating this metaphor.

The Valley of Astonishment
Antahoora Horseshoe
Antahoora Mirror

In the goblet, we have beheld the reflection of the face of the beloved O’ thou void of knowledge of the joy of the perpetual wine-drinking of ours

The Valley of Unity

This stage is where the lover understands the unity of existence. The valley of unity is where the lover and beloved become one. When Hafiz says he sees the face of the beloved in the glass of wine, it holds an unclear meaning – that he is the beloved, or that the beloved is seated so close that hafiz can see the reflection of their face in the goblet. Sufism beliefs imply that lover and beloved are in fact the same, however, were only temporarily separated. When the user finishes the wine in this goblet, they come face-to-face with a mirror as to experience seeing the beloved.

He said: “ at friend, by whom lofty became the head of the gibbet,“ His crime was this that clear, sharing the mysteries of sky, he made. O’ Lord! What glance of sorcery made Sorahi that the blood of the jar notwithstanding the sweet sounds of its guggling, its throat boundne-drinking of ours

Sorahi Splash
Th Valley of Deprivation

The Valley of Deprivation and Death is where the lover goes back to the source of existence and love. This vessel is designed to illustrate the source of wine and love. Sorahi is the name of a traditional vessel featuring a long neck. Hafiz describes Sorahi as a magical object. In a verse, Hafiz says vine juice was restive in the barrel due to seeking the beloved, which refers to the fermentation of wine. However, by the flirtation of Sorahi, the agog wine becomes calm. The dreamiest metaphor of Sorahi in the Psalms of Hafiz is the glugging sound of Sorahi. Audibly, this signals the martyrdom of Hallaj, an early Sufi character who had claimed divinity causing the Sharia court to execute him. The repetitive sound of his unholy claims of divinity while hung from the gallows is recorded in the history of Sufism. The pine shaped lead illustrates the Sedre, the tallest tree of paradise in the Quran, which believers joyfully sit under in its shade.

The Martyrdom Of Mansur Al-hallaj

The Martyrdom Of Mansur Al-hallaj

Antahoora Collection
Antahoora Collection