Skip to content
Al asma ul Husna
Igshaan Adams
Artwork 2017
Installation photograph of Igshaan Adams’ hanging tapestry work ‘Al asma ul Husna’ from the Customs exhibition in A4’s Gallery. On the left and right, Adams’ tapestries are suspended from the ceiling. In the middle is a bench with a wall-mounted shelf above it that hosts a selection of reading materials.
Artwork: Igshaan Adams, Al asma ul Husna (2017). Beads, cotton twine, dyes, white PVA paint. 300 x 600 cm. Private collection.
Artist Igshaan Adams Title Al asma ul Husna Date 2017 Materials Beads, cotton twine, dyes, white PVA paint Dimensions 300 x 600 cm Credit Private collection

Collected under the loose description of tapestry, Igshaan Adams’ woven works offer a haptic meditation on the changeability of being, which is never static but always reworked, stitched and unstitched. To the artist, the ritual repetition necessary to his medium presents itself as spiritual simile; each bead strung a material dhikr. Much like the ninety-nine names of Allah are chanted in Sufi practice, that they might wake the dormant divine within the speaker, so weaving too is an embodied commitment to slow accumulation and transformation. Bearing witness to life’s traces and traumas as inscribed in overlooked spaces – particularly those of Bonteheuwel, a working-class suburb on the Cape Flats where Adams was raised – the artist transcribes desire lines across fields and worn paths on linoleum floors, honouring the passages of time and people that shaped them. Adams’ work is marked by both a distinct, even sensual, pleasure in the tactile, and a lyrical invocation of the immaterial; the patina of the past distilled in objects of singular beauty and quiet dedication.