This is one of those fusions that either works brilliantly or falls horribly flat. In Hadil Tamim’s sensitive hands it is, thankfully, the former. Of Palestinian heritage, but having lived in Reading for the last two decades, she is well-versed in both traditions in a neat symbiosis of the two.
Using British architectural design as the basis for cartouches, but with the vibrant colours of Islamic tradition, she creates images which are unique, yet also not alien, certainly to this English eye. It’s also worth remarking that anything less than excellent reproduction could mar an otherwise excellent idea, but Two Rivers have, in their usual way, stepped fully up to the plate.
Although this is not an instructional book, Hadil does show and explain how the images were built up, and the architectural shapes adapted. You might not want to emulate her work completely, but it is full of intriguing ideas.
For each flower, naturalist Adrian Lawson provides a concise but informative commentary that nicely complements the images.
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