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To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site

 

Rachid Koraïchi, Seven Doors of Heaven, metal


Rachid Koraïchi, Seven Doors o

© 2005 Rolf Marriott

Seven Doors of Heaven

The artist with the Museum's Director

The artist with the Museum's Director

The Path of Roses

The Path of Roses


On loan from Rachid Koraichi, courtesy of the October Gallery .


Rachid Koraïchi was born in 1947 in Algeria. He is from a Sufi family, Sufism being the mystical aspect of Islam. He studied at the Algerian École des Beaux-Arts before moving to Paris in 1971, where he continued his studies at a variety of institutions including the Parisian École des Beaux-Arts. Koraïchi's work is rooted in calligraphy but he is a master of various media, including ceramics, textiles and metalwork. He has twice exhibited at the Venice Biennale.

Koraïchi's Seven Doors of Heaven was on display in the Ground Force Africa Garden. The work, made of metal and drawing on calligraphy, is a reference to the seven doors of heaven and hell mentioned in the Qur'an. The number seven is also associated with the Sufi concept of the 'journey', which is reflected in the design of the Africa Garden.

Another work by Koraïchi, The Path of Roses, can be seen in the Sainsbury African Galleries (Room 25). This installation consists of several different elements, including embroidered silk cloths, ceramic ablution bowls and steel sculptures (pictured). It pays homage to the thirteenth-century Sufi mystic and poet Jalal al-Din al-Rumi who travelled through North Africa before founding the Dervish order in Turkey. Like much of Koraïchi's work, it explores Africa's complex contribution to Islamic culture and philosophy.