“This place is a dream.” ~ Rumi
My name is Roya Azal. Artist, Blogger, Designer, Gardener, Healing Spirit, based outside of Berlin, Germany. Here the sky is wide and of a deep blue hue. I am inspired by natural life. Plants, Flowers, Esoterical Art, Mysticsm, Sufism, Patterns, Geometry, Light/Shadow, Textiles, Folklore and Healing Arts are my themes. I merge art, botany, phytology, spiritual practise, philosophy, medicine and psychology in my creative quest. Life is alchemy - it taught me to surrender and to never give up. Nature is my nature. There is no reality but a multiverse of realities.
I know Islam as a powerful, mind opening religious practise, that has in nothing to do with the travesty that is presented in the media and fed to various lunatics on all sides of the imaginary fences that twist things beyond any recognition.
The story of humanity is a shared story and Islamic art and the philosophical and mystical heritage is a vast and greatly under-appreciated and unexplored treasure that contains many awe inspiring inspirations. Islamic culture and it's achievements in botany, mathematics, chemistry and medicine are famous examples of what the human mind can achieve when it engages with things beyond the surfaces of our immediate perception. For me as an artist the art and science of Islam and specifically Sufism is an unlimited source of inspiration and revelation. With my work I try to get beyond our cultural and cognitive surfaces and bring to attention the treasures within Islam and it's artistic, spiritual and aesthetical heritage.
I am born in Munich, Germany and had nothing to do with religion during my childhood and youth. I moved to London in my 20s and worked as Editorial Assistant and Designer, Illustrator, User Experience Expert and Information Architect (I also lived in New York City for a while where I created “Net Art”). My life was interrupted by a dramatic event and I experienced that religion is not what my parents and the educational system had told me. I fell of the edge of what I knew, and entered a new life. I visited people on the margins, healers, Sufis, mystics, and many many people who fell down, many like beasts, seduced and manipulated by darkness, but I also met many people who have risen and shared their knowledge of the light with me. In 2012 I returned to Germany. I am a "wounded healer", I carry many scars but also gained some wisdom. I got much to say about the globalized world, extremism, wounds, terror, fear and injustice, and a lot concerning wrong assumptions about Islam, spirituality and religion. My main goal is to build bridges and bring some light into things.
Next to my writing, fine art and illustrative work I create green spaces that transmit holistic ideas and values, known from Islamic gardens. I am offering planting and design advise, consultancy and DIY tutorials on the website The Art of Sufi Gardening I introduce history and ideas behind Islamic and Sufi garden designs and show how to transform even small outdoor spaces into refuges for nature, for health, sanity, peace, beauty and calm. I work also with wool and create Suf (Wool) talismans and items fused with stories, secrets and histories.
If you want to support my work and this blog, please buy art and crafts items from my my Online shop on Etsy.
5% of any profits from my work goes to charity. This year I will donate to the German Alpine Association who support people in need, help refugees and work to protect the environment. I spend many wonderful days in the Alps and to this day these beautiful experiences nurture and inspire me.
Al Hayy! (The Force of Life)