© 2019 OLA DAJANI

WONDROUS, MARVELLOUS BODIES

2018 - 2019

Wondrous, Marvellous Bodies is a series of studies based on medieval Islamic anatomy manuscripts using hand embroidery. The embroideries are inspired by the illustrations of the fourteenth century medical treatise Tashrih-i Badan-i Insan (The Anatomy of the Human Body) by Persian physician Mansur Ibn Ilyas, also referred to as Mansur's Anatomy which is the earliest known text in the Islamic world that is accompanied by full-length anatomical illustrations.

 

The embroideries are not in pursuit of recreating the scientific aspects of the illustrations nor do they aim at elucidating the illustrations in question, but rather they conceive of reinterpreting the metaphoric view of the body in medieval Islam. They merge human and animal bodies (represented by the Arabian Oryx), being influenced by the ancient assumption of similarities between human and animal anatomies, resulting in metaphoric and ornamented bodies that merge Islamic medieval science and fiction.

This work is on display and for sale at The Library at The Third Line.