Whirling Dervish sculpture and painting

Introduction to "Whirling"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sufi_whirling :

Sufi whirling (or Sufi turning) (TurkishSemazen) is a form of Sama or physically active meditation which originated among Sufis, and which is still practiced by the Sufi Dervishes of the Mevlevi order and other orders such as the Rifa'i-Marufi.

While whirling, his arms are open: his right arm is directed to the sky, ready to receive God's beneficence; his left hand, upon which his eyes are fastened, is turned toward the earth. The semazen conveys God's spiritual gift to those who are witnessing the Sema. Revolving from right to left around the heart, the semazen embraces all humanity with love. The human being has been created with love in order to love. Mevlâna Jalâluddîn Rumi says, "All loves are a bridge to Divine love. Yet, those who have not had a taste of it do not know!"


Intention for my Sculpture:

While the painting will probably continue to reference the actual Dervish appearance in their robes etc, the sculpture is an abstraction of the pose, the human element that could be shared with any other dance tradition or expression.  So, while I very much like the pose, as described above,  there could be variations that tie it to a contemporary or classical ballet aesthetic/ style in some way.  For costume it will be only tights/leggings.


Introduction to Rumi


A couple of Rumi poems - Coleman Barks translations reworkings into modern free verse



For years, copying other people, I tried to know myself.
From within, I couldn’t decide what to do.
Unable to see, I heard my name being called.
Then I walked outside.

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep.

From Unseen Rain


Two Kinds of Intelligence

There are two kinds of intelligence: One acquired,
as a child in school memorizes facts and concepts
from books and from what the teacher says,
collecting information from the traditional sciences
as well as from the new sciences.

With such intelligence you rise in the world.
You get ranked ahead or behind others
in regard to your competence in retaining
information. You stroll with this intelligence
in and out of fields of knowledge, getting always more
marks on your preserving tablets.

There is another kind of tablet, one
already completed and preserved inside you.
A spring overflowing its springbox. A freshness
in the center of the chest. This other intelligence
does not turn yellow or stagnate. It’s fluid,
and it doesn’t move from outside to inside
through the conduits of plumbing-learning.

This second knowing is a fountainhead
from within you, moving out.

Mathnawi IV:1960-1968

From Feeling the Shoulder of the Lion

Mockups of what the Dervish sculpture could look like