Medicinal Botany, Digital Illustration

Medicinal Botany, Digital Illustration

above: asparagus, detail

Medicinal Botany, Digital Illustration
Aluminum (Persian) Medallions, 2019

These digital illustrations on Aluminum,  are based on The Herbal of Al-Ghafiqi, a 12th c. manuscript from Andalusia, Spain. The pieces evoke the memories of my childhood in the Southern city of Shiraz, Iran, known for its herbal medicine tradition. As a child I spent ample time shopping at the traditional drugstores in Shiraz with my grandmother who firmly believed in the healing power of herbal medicine for all kinds of minor ailments. The plants are designed after the original images from the manuscript and printed on aluminum medallions to evoke Persian decorative tiles. These medallions showcase an introspective representation of my early memories of connection to nature and personal place between memory, the worlds of reality and imagination.

Augmented Selfie, 2018, digital archival prints on aluminum
Each medallion: 12×12 inches, installation: 40×40 inches
Installation view at Mercury 20 Gallery, Oakland, CA, 2019
Augnmented Selfie was an exhibtion about how artists create “selfie” images in the age of “Selfies.”

Each black and white medallion: 12×12 inches
Plants: Viola, Cinquefoil, Buttercup, Chamomile, Cannabis, and Asparagus

Each color medallion: 12×12 inches
Plants: Asparagus, Viola, Buttercup

Exhibition views: Nicole Longnecker Gallery, Houton, TX and Mercury 20 Gallery, Oakland, CA, 2018-2019

Research

The Herbal of al-Ghafiqi manuscript was composed by the 12th century Andalusian physician and scholar Abu Ja`far al-Ghafiqi. It is one of the most remarkable medieval botanical manuscripts on medicinal plants, their names, their visuals and their healing properties. Medieval societies and medical practitioners had great appreciation for benefits of nature, specifically those plants that prevented or treated ailments. In medieval palaces such as Alhambra in Andalusia, gardens of medicinal plants were created and benefits of plants were carefully recorded in manuscripts.

Pages of Herbal of al-Ghafiqi, Botanical Manuscript in Arabic, written by Abu Ja`far al-Ghafiqi, 12th c., Andalusia