Islam Aly ~ Egypt / Iowa

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Islam Mahmoud Mohamed Aly: Using Historical Bindings in Producing Contemporary Artists' Books, Master's thesis: "I regard the culturally rich bookbinding as formats that hold great meaning; I made models of books that existed in different cultures through the history of the book. I became interested in how each structure had unique features and how the books themselves transmitted knowledge about their form. This interest in bookbinding formats led me to explore ways to add content to these historical models. The binding plays a powerful role in producing my artist's books, the look and presence of these bindings is an integral part of my work and they are linked to the content and aesthetics. The final pieces encourage the viewer to interact with the work.

"I am hoping more people will learn that these historical bindings still exist and are still used in book art, and that the kind of content I use in my books will foster cross-cultural learning by making viewers learn about Islamic art and culture."

   
Metamorphoses 5
By Islam Aly
Cedar Falls, Iowa: Islam Aly, 2017. Edition of 30.

2 x 2 x 1.5" miniature book. Laser-cut mould-made Johannot paper. Twenty sections of 2 folios per section. Handbound in laser cut and engraved wooden boards with Coptic binding of linen thread. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Islam Aly: "In the Metamorphoses series, I am focusing on Islamic art and design. I want to reveal how patterns develop and morph in a book that makes the viewer experience their beauty, elegance, harmony, intricacy, and complexity.

"
Metamorphoses 5 represents a square that morphs into a star. The patterns in the book are combined, duplicated, interlaced, and arranged in multiple combinations that are precise, beautiful, and symbolic."
$350
   
   
Sacred Meanings
By Islam Aly
Cedar Falls, Iowa: Islam Aly, 2017. Edition of 40.

2.5 x 2.5 x 2.5" hexagon-shaped miniature book. Laser cut mould-made Johannot paper. Twenty sections of 4 folios per section. Handbound in laser-engraved plexiglass covers with Coptic binding of linen thread. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Islam Aly: "Sacred Meanings is based on the hexagon, one of the main shapes in creating grids and patterns in Islamic art. The form of the book, its words, and its progression reveals the fading and development of a pattern. The book invites viewers to consider their experiences with the transcendent and indivisible. Sacred Meanings presents an encounter that deals with the dichotomies of life, fall and rise, suspicion and faith, disorientation and orientation, chaos and order."
$700

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Orientation Cube
By Islam Aly
Iowa City, Iowa: Islam Aly, 2014. Edition of 30.

2.6 x 2.6 x 3"; 30 sections with three folios. Mould-made Johannot paper. Colored and laser-engraved edges. Bound in laser-etched plexi glass. Two needle Coptic sewing and Coptic end bands with linen thread. Presented in a folding box with gilded wooden cube and magnetic closure. Box dimensions closed: 3.25 x 3.25 x 4". Signed by the artist.

Islam Aly: "This book is inspired by The Kaaba, a cuboid building at the center of Islam's most sacred mosque, in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is the most sacred point within this most sacred mosque, making it the most sacred location in Islam. Wherever they are in the world, Muslims are expected to face the Kaaba when performing prayers. In addition one of the Five Pillars of Islam, every Muslim is required to perform the hajj pilgrimage at least once in his or her lifetime, if one is able. Multiple parts of the hajj require pilgrims to make circumambulation seven times around the Kaaba. A tiny black cube is positioned at the center of the inner back board, around which are concentric circles cut in the thirty sections of the book to reflect the process of circumambulation."
$1,200

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The Square, Al Midan
By Islam Aly
Iowa City, Iowa: Islam Aly, 2014. Edition of 40.

4.5 x 4.5 x 2.5"; 20 sections with four folios. Mould-made Johannot paper. Colored and laser engraved edges. Bound in lase- etched wooden boards. Ethiopian and Coptic binding with linen thread. Signed by the artist.

Islam Aly: "Egyptian uprising called for democratic reform. Tahrir Square in Cairo became the focal point and the most effective symbol of the protests in January and February 2011. For 18 days Egyptians repeated the slogan: The People Want to Bring down the Regime (al-sha`b yurid isqat al-nizam) until the regime stepped down on the 11th of February 2011.

"This book focuses on the revolution slogan 'al-sha`b yurid isqat al-nizam.' Using Arabic Kufic script the words of the slogan are repeated in an ascending sequence. Section 19 contains the English translation for the slogan 'The People Want to Bring down the Regime.' The last section contains the time and date when the regime stepped down along with the sentence 'Al Saa'b Askat al Nezam' with its English translation 'The People have Brought down the Regime'.

"Cairo's map is laser engraved on the book covers. Three edges of the book are colored then laser engraved to show the streets of Cairo."

$600

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28 Letters
By Islam Aly
Iowa City, Iowa: Islam Aly, 2013. Edition of 40.

5 x 5.7 x 0.7" (40" extended), 28 folios. Laser-cut handmade flax paper. Three hole pamphlet binding in an accordion binding. Linen thread, handmade paper covers.

Islam Aly: "This book displays the 28 letters of the Arabic alphabet; each letter is laser-cut on a folio. The accordion binding allows the viewer to explore and interact with the letters."
$500


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Crucial perimeter 1
By Islam Aly
Iowa City, Iowa: Islam Aly, 2013. Edition of 20.

2.8 x 3 x 3.5"; 400 pages. Mould-made Johannot paper. Laser engraved edges. Bound in embossed leather boards with coptic and Ethiopian binding techniques. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Islam Aly: "In this book Crucial Perimeter-1, I explore the dichotomy
between what's inside a book and what's outside. The book has no text or images on its folios. When the book is closed, the viewer can see the content on three edges of the book, but depending on how the book is opened some of the content on the edges diffuses and becomes illegible, converting into traces of texture."

$600


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Marginalia 1
By Islam Aly
Iowa City, Iowa: Islam Aly, 2013. Edition of 20.

6 x 8"; 60 pages. Arabic calligraphy. Laser cut text. Handmade flax paper. Coptic and Ethiopian binding with Plexiglas covers. Signed by the artist.

Islam Aly: "The design of Marginalia 1 is inspired from Arabic commentaries that were written in different books. These commentaries have a unique shape, and layout. It usually would contrast with the geometrical design of the page. The commentaries played an important role in the transmission and transformation of knowledge. I wanted to show the beauty of their calligraphy on the handmade flax paper. I selected ten different pages for each of the ten sections. I used the laser cutter to cut each section and engrave the front cover. The sections were attached to the Plexiglas covers and sewn together using a two needle Coptic link stitch. Finally I sewed the end bands."
$650 (Last Copy)

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Sequence 1
By Islam Aly
Iowa City, Iowa: Islam Aly, 2013. Edition of 20.

2 x 2 x 3.5"; 40 sections of 8 leaves. Laser cut. Materials: handmade flax paper, linen thread. Bound in laser-engraved wooden boards. Greek binding. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Islam Aly: "This book is an exploration of one Arabic letter "Da d"; this is a very unique letter in the Arabic language because of its extremely unusual sound. Early Arabic grammarians described Arabic as the 'language of the ?? d', since the sound was thought to be unique to Arabic.

"40 different shapes of letter ?? d are displayed in the book; each letter is laser-cut on a section of the book, for example, the very early Kufic scripts, the different styles of Arabic calligraphy, as well as multiple forms of fonts."

$400

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Islam Aly Out of Print Title:  
   

Echoes
By Islam Aly
Iowa City, Iowa: Islam Aly, 2014. Edition of 15.

2.8 x 3 x 3.5"; 30 sections with four folios. Mould-made Johannot paper. Laser engraved edges. Bound in laser etched wooden boards. Ethiopian and coptic binding with linen thread. Signed by the artist.

Islam Aly: "I made this book to document the words that were repeated in the streets of Cairo during the Egyptian Spring of 2011 when millions of protesters from a variety of socioeconomic and religious backgrounds demanded the overthrow of the regime. The people repeated the three words: Bread [livelihood], Freedom, and Social Justice. I used Arabic Kufic script and spelled the words Eish, Horeya, Adala Egtemaeya - Bread, Freedom and Social Justice. These words are repeated over and over in different ways along the 30 sections. The book is an effort to remember and reflect on these events. It also serves as a reminder for the revolution's main demands. Additionally, the book incorporates details of Cairo's streets on the front and backboards. Cairo's map is also laser engraved on three edges of the book."
(SOLD)


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Ethiopian Talismans
By Islam Aly
Iowa City, Iowa: Islam Aly, 2013. One-of-a-Kind.

4 x 8 x 1"; 48 leaves. Hand drawing with water based ink pens. Hand paper cutting. Handmade flax paper. Ethiopian binding with embossed leather over boards.. Signed by the artist.

Islam Aly: "Ethiopian Talismans were inspired from the Ethiopian healing symbols, believed to heal people both physically and emotionally. I used one symbol on each section. The shapes of the symbols inspired me to cut and color each page in a unique way. The paper is made from over-beaten flax paper with deckle edges to have the appearance and texture of the parchment that was historically used in the Ethiopian books."
(SOLD)

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The Marginalia Series: Marginalia 2
By Islam Aly
Iowa City, Iowa: Islam Aly, 2013. One-of-a-Kind.

3.2 x 4.3 x 1.3 "; 10 sections with four folios. Handmade dyed flax paper. Pochoir, two needle Coptic sewing. Leather-covered embossed Islamic binding. Signed by the artist.

Islam Aly: "The design of Marginalia-2 is inspired from Arabic commentaries that were written in different books. These commentaries have a unique shape, and layout. It usually would contrast with the geometrical design of the page. The commentaries played an important role in the transmission and transformation of knowledge. I wanted to show the beauty of their calligraphy on the handmade flax paper. I choose different parts of these commentaries and started repeating them on the page."
(SOLD)

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Page last update: 03.24.17

 

   
  
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