Hayakal al Noor, Bodies of Light on now

06 Jul, 2021
Narjis Mirza
Photo credit: Raymond Sagapolutele

Hayakal al Noor, Bodies of Light – an exhibition by Art and Design Doctoral Candidate Narjis Mirza is a light installation that is a true feast for the senses.

Inspired by medieval Islamic philosophy of illumination, the exhibition pulls together Arabic calligraphy, projection, textile, fragrance and voice, to provoke the seers' imagination beyond the visible and the apparent.


Hayakal al Noor employs ta’wil, a traditional Quranic method of interpretation, for creative art practices. The haptic, visual and olfactory experience of Hayakal al Noor is an invitation to wonder, contemplate and return to our spiritual beginnings.

Contrary to many exhibitions, Hayakal al Noor invites visitors to reach out and touch the work, and spend time contemplating it. “It was really important to me that I created a space where people could become ‘seers’ - they could fully participate in the exhibition. On opening night I invited people from my community to attend, and we unrolled a Persian carpet and sat and shared space together in reflection. It was delightful to see young and old experiencing Hayakal al Noor, and sharing that experience together.”


Narjis’s family were integral to the exhibition, even though they are far away in Pakistan. “The chiffon silk I use in Hayakal al Noor was sent to me by my mother, and I’ve infused it with rose oil, which is a common household fragrance in Pakistan. My sister – singing for the first time – provided the voice for the exhibition. Having both of them be part of my examination exhibition is a meaningful way for me to represent my family as well.”

The last day of the exhibition is Thursday, 8 July, 11 am – 6 pm, WG210 on AUT’s City Campus.

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