Islam Aly

​Cryptic Magic
2017, Variable Edition of 20

40 Folios, Laser cut handmade flax Paper, linen thread, Hand made flax covers, modified accordion binding, 2.5 x 6” (42” extended) Signed, dated, and numbered by the artist.

Cryptic Magic is an investigation into symbols. I am fascinated with their power and how they are given mysterious attributes to represent the spiritual. Some Ethiopian scholars see the origin of writing in symbols like these.

The book is presenting a vocabulary of signs and symbols to connect the physical and the emotional. Different Ethiopian symbols are laser cut on each page, their overlapping and intersection generate new meanings. The magnets embedded in the covers and the accordion structure allows the audience to interact with the book creating different connections between the symbols and compressing or extending the structure for more sculptural appearance.