Saturday, October 2, 2021

Full Circle but with No Center: Doris Bittar lecture

 By Patricia Frischer

Doris Bittar is a local artist that loves patterns and decorative motifs. She just doesn’t reproduce them, invent them and display them, she also researches them. In this lecture, she shared her belief in the evidence of how patterns can trace the paths of cultural development. Patterns are shared, changed and evolve. The title of this lecture, The Silk Road and Its Arab Milieu, part of the China³ series of the San Diego Chinese Historical Society and Museum and SDSU Chinese Cultural Center is just a starting place for her exploration of the influences of the Arab community, and on this community by Egyptians, Asians and western civilization.

We are shown patterns as calligraphy, lattices, screens, rugs, facades as they crisscross across the millennia and around the world.  This cross cultural exchange shows how uncentered in one place these belief really are. The ebb and flow and understanding this might help us to decentralized our own beliefs.  

Doris Bittar was born in Baghdad, Iraq to Lebanese and Palestinian parents who immigrated to New York. She received her BFA from the State University of New York and her MFA from the University of California, San Diego. She taught at the UCSD, the American University of Beirut, among others and was a visiting scholar at New York University in 2017. She is a member of Arab Amp, and a founding member of Gulf Labor.

I recommend that you watch the recorded zoom lecture. That will help you connect the dots of these images.

Egyptian Pyramids and Arab Mosques

Chinese doors and Muslim pattern tools

Mosaics from Rome and the Byzintine

Early tapestries influence modern designs

Arab screens

Details of handmade spindles used in screens

Varieties of patterns used world wide

The calligraphy is actually figurative and based on proportions. It is a myth that Muslims disallow depictions of humans, animals, and nature. 

Calligraphy as landscape.

Modern testimonial to the Dump people of the world . Elseed’s Perception  Anyone who wants to see the sunlight clearly needs to wipe his eye first.

A full cycle, the whole body used to carry forward the calligraphy tradition. 

An artwork by Doris Bittar. "Tarab Soundings"  2010 -2014

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