Like Farid ud-Din Attar’s eponymous poem, this forum is a flocking place for seekers of knowledge. Here is a site for resources and conversation, questions and answers, illumination and communication all done in the spirit of camaraderie and fellow-feeling. Like the birds, we are all on this journey together and this gathering of like-minded souls serves to strengthen existing connections and forge new ones. Beginners and seasoned travellers are equally welcome. There is no question too small or silly - all have a home here. The information and inspiration on this platform is free and open to all wanderers who are in love with the world of Islamic, Indian, Mughal and Persian miniature painting and find themselves on a similar path.
It is also a marketplace of ideas; a social seat of learning; a city centre of exchange where surprises and spontaneous thoughts arise and create their own opportunities. I’ve always wanted to host miniature painting art salons in real life. A wide open space and an intimate parlour room all in one, this forum is my online - and global - version of the same. The structured forum format lends itself to meaningful conversations online. These can initiate spontaneous interaction across the globe which can in turn take flight to continue the conversation offline. Depending on interest, there will be follow-up monthly Zoom meets online, seminar-style, to discuss 1-2 topics or ideas generated from the forum. These may be practical (materials, tools, techniques), contextual (historic tradition, contemporary art, content and style) spiritual or anything else, inflected through the sovereign focus lens of the miniature painting we all love.
In Attar’s 12th century Sufi wisdom poem منطق الطیر Mantiq al-Tayr, 30 birds go on a spiritual quest in order to find their leader and king, only to realise at heart - through consensus with each other, akin to a forum - that they indeed have their answer embedded within themselves. Through dialogue and synergy, we find the answers we seek.
Seek knowledge, even unto China - Hadith
A person’s a person, no matter how small - Horton the kind elephant, Dr Seuss