Doha Museum of Islamic Art

Set against a backdrop of sea and city
Work and its training has been keeping me so busy that I’ve had minimal time to explore Doha. I finally made the time to visit the Museum of Islamic Art. Emphasis on the word “time”, because I tend to get lost in museums! In January spent nearly 4 hours in London’s British museum, particularly engrossed in the Greek sculpture from the Hellinistic period (fun fact: I’m obsessed with Ancient Greece). At this museum, I was particularly gripped by the ornate Indian jewellery from the 17th and 18th century, and thought it would be interesting to share with you all,. Probably because I wanted to take it out and wear it immediately. Often I’d see something shiny and had to curb myself and pull on my arty-pants again, but you know what vintage does to me. Bear in mind, these were made by hand.

Loved this ornate headband. Tiara-like, I imagine it on the wearer’s head with the one single red ruby resting in the center of the forehead.

Initially I was accepted to study Fine Art at the University of Cape Town’s Michaelis Art School. I switched to a general BA at the last minute because I couldn’t imagine my life without studying Theatre. Choice is a sad thing sometimes. I still made an effort to do shorter History of Art courses and research because I really missed sinking my teeth into it.
I was never one for Islamic Art to be honest, I can read Arabic scripture but I’m unable to understand the meaning, and mostly in the Islamic art I was exposed to in textbooks and a bit at the British Museum that’s all one would see. I am ashamed to say I was a bit desensitised to it at first. My eye and mind is so trained to appreciate traditional European aesthetics or seek the rebellion in the lack-thereof, so I didn’t know what to look for. However, from intricately carved oak doors with unexplainable detail, silk cloaks weighing about 20kgs, marble works, pottery, sculpture and hundreds of astrolabes, I could appreciate the variety and leave behind the stereotype I was unaware I held so absent-mindedly.

The main thing I could conclude was that the work was in a league of its own. Very particular craftmanship and lavish material didn’t aim to replicate life but rather celebrated it. I could really appreciate that.


Had a little obsession with daggers and their covers that day!