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Dia Azzawi (Iraqi, b. 1939)
Lots are subject to 5% import Duty on the importat… Read more PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION, UK
Dia Azzawi (Iraqi, b. 1939)

Blessed Tigris

Details
Dia Azzawi (Iraqi, b. 1939)
Blessed Tigris
signed, dated and numbered 'Azzawi 05 2/8' (around the base)
painted fibreglass
Height: 81in. (205cm.)
Executed in 2005, this work is number two from an edition of eight
Special Notice

Lots are subject to 5% import Duty on the importation value (low estimate) levied at the time of collection shipment within UAE. For UAE buyers, please note that duty is paid at origin (Dubai) and not in the importing country. As such, duty paid in Dubai is treated as final duty payment. It is the buyer's responsibility to ascertain and pay all taxes due.

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William Lawrie
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Lot Essay

"I greet you from afar, O greet me back,
O blessed Tigris, river of gardens green.
I greet your banks, seeking to quench my thirst,
Like doves, between water and clay aflutter seen.
O blessed Tigris, oft have I been forced to leave.
To drink from springs which did not my thirst relieve.
O blessed Tigris, what inflames your heart
Inflames me and what grieves you makes me grieve.
O wanderere, play with a gentle touch;
Carress the lute softly and sing again,
That you may soothe a volcano seething with rage
And pacify a heart burning with pain"

Mohammed Mahdi Al-Jawahiri, 1962 (inscription around the base, translated by Hussein Hadawi, cited in Venetia Porter, Word into Art, London, 2006, p.8)

The present work is a smaller version of the huge six metre sculpture commissioned for the ground-breaking British Museum exhibition Word Into Art, which was shown in the London premises in 2006 before touring to Dubai in 2008.

The angular spiral shape recalls several related monumental motifs associated with Mesopotamia- the 4100-year-old Great Ziggurat of Ur, the spiral minaret of the nitnth century Abbasid mosque at Samarra, and many medieval European depictions of the biblical Tower of Babel, represented as a spiral tower.

The poem 0 Blessed Tigris is by the celeberated Iraqi poet, journalist and political activist Mohammed Mahdi Al-Jawahiri (d. 1997).

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