The final project of the semester! Wow! “Time” flies!
Originally I intended to finish off the semester with a new beginning, arranging for an activity based on mutualism around the garden centre on ECU to kick start the community garden. But I messed up! I was so preoccupied with the Interim thesis document that I just forgot to organize the project in advance with the university. So they had other plans in mind and restricted access to the area we needed for this project.
I had one day and an entire project to complete, maybe old Sheyda’s biggest fear! However, the new me just figured that everything I do in my daily life is a part of my adventure into the world of interconnectedness and mutualism.
So what if I actually took the time to empty my mind and meditate while handcrafting a pattern that was an inspiration for me and my thesis topic. What if instead of freaking out I would just do something I enjoy doing and present that as my project! I called my friend and went for a picnic in Deer Lake Park and took all my supplies. I began working on a project that turned out to be very personal and gratifying for me.
Shamseh was there everywhere in Islamic culture. It could have been seen as big as the mosaics of the mosques and as small as the tiny pieces in marquetries in traditional artifacts. I grew up with this pattern, and its subliminal message is engraved in my soul. This pattern was the brilliant manifestation of oneness with the universe and interconnectedness among all-natural beings to make that one universe (Oneness and unity, and multiplicity of this unity). This worldview was one of the beliefs in Sufism, a variation of Islam, and the artists of the time translated that into this pattern.
This wonderful semester I was so fortunate to have Laura as my supervisor, Louise as my design studio prof, and Craig as my Directed studies mentor! You can imagine being in contact with these brilliant minds could have what kind of an impact on a person. The combination of this trio and my constant therapy sessions, deep dive into my childhood memories and traumas, and my constant self-reflections opened up a whole new world for me to grow. And I’m grateful for all the people in my life that helped me get here. So maybe this made me think of my idea for this project.
My final project could be considered as the way I now see my life and myself and all the elements in it that I feel connected to. I used fallen leaves in the park to make pieces of this pattern, I glued them to paper and I started writing all the beings/elements I feel connected to, or make up my reality, my world and me. I put myself right in the middle, the centrepiece, and I started to make all the elements that helped me flourish and become whole. It is apparent from the pattern how empty my life could be without each of these elements/people/beings. How missing only one piece could keep me away from becoming whole!
It is an infinite pattern with a brilliant message; one is not a whole without others; we are all pieces making up our world! So I could go on and on to write all the things that make me a whole and make my world! I could write all my connections, but I’m not there yet, and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to write them all. But it’s not even about finding all those elements or listing them. It’s about knowing that they are there, and I could not be without them. This pattern is just a reminder to me: to live with all beings the way you want to be treated, give back as much as you take, and find your happiness in others’ happiness.