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Hafsa Murtaza

The Forest: a Microcosm of the World
Twigs, pine needles, pine cones, wood, crepe paper, clay, styrofoam, acrylic paint

Forest habitats showcase intricate relations between biotic and abiotic elements that emulate a microcosm of the world's interconnections. The Quran states that humans are created from soil and water; thus, one finds tranquillity in nature, with which humans are interconnected through a shared identity. Natural elements such as twigs, pine needles and pine cones are assembled in a vessel to recreate a forest habitat; animals made of clay represent the interactions between horizontal and vertical stratifications of the forest. The materials emphasize the interrelation between the biotic and abiotic. Furthermore, the red tulip represents the written Arabic name of Allah; positioned in water, a symbol of truth, the tulip represents the connection between the soul and the Creator. These interrelationships demonstrate how the universe is an organic whole in which we can discover a part of ourselves and realize our power to make an impact on another and initiate change.

Hafsa Murtaza is a first-year undergraduate student at the University of Toronto, attending the Art and Art History program offered jointly with Sheridan College. She explores traditional paint media alongside unconventional watercolour monoprints, marbling and natural materials. Hafsa bases her work on Islamic philosophy, manifesting Islamic ideologies in her practice.

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