Mahmal Instalation In The Great Court, British Museum
15 Oct 2018
Please go and see the Mahmal which was made by groups in Community Outreach back in 2012 to coincide with the exhibition of Hajj: Journey to the Heart of Islam’ at the British Museum. We are delighted to be able to exhibit the work again which is up for 2 weeks in the Great Court until 24th October, to mark opening of the Albukhary Foundation Gallery of the Islamic Worldat the British Museum. We are currently working on another art installation inspired by Islamic patterns and geometric designs which will appear in the Great Court in late November.
Mahmals have been used for centuries heading the caravans on the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. It was symbolic for Hajj pilgrims and their arrival was hailed with joy, blessings and ceremony. The Mahmals were richly worked and traditionally adorned with much gold, pearls and jewels.
This project involved the design and construction of a Mahmal using some of the historical techniques employed in some of the original Mahmals, whilst incorporating an element of contemporary design and technique. The aim was not to replicate the original Mahmals, but rather to capture the magic and create a highly decorated interpretation of them.
Lead by the Mary Ward Centre, college for Adult Education, a number of groups in Camden took part in the project – Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Centre, Kingsgate Primary School, Netley Primary School, Chadswell Healthy Living Centre, Argyle Primary School, Solace Women’s Aid and a group at the British Museum. Each group contributed to the making of the panels, roof, finials and one student personally took on the making of the camel’s head.