Gabriel’s Wings

PREFACE: In his ancient teachings, twelfth century writer, philosopher and poet, Shihab al-Din Suhrawardi, emphasizes a true and genuine connection with not only our own selves, but with the divine world around us. His teachings exude the ideology that no one man or woman can truly live a fulfilled life without vulnerability to the great and vast existences beyond us —because here, in the world and entangled in its celestial elements, is where true knowledge and understanding is found.

In Suhrawardi’s famed essay, “The Chant of Gabriel’s Wings,” he states that:

“In every ones being there is a tablet, the tablet of one’s being is nothing other than a reflection of primordial tablet.

The words inscribed upon the preserved tablet are also to be found in the cosmos and upon the tablet of one’s being.

Whoever understands the spiritual significance of this alphabet will attain nobility and constancy thereby.”

Through the tablet that is embedded within us, the truest of words are able to be written and imprinted on our soul. Stability, actuality, purity, truth— these elements are what the teachings of Suhrawardi reach for and what inspired Iranian-born abstract artist, Ferdos Maleki, to create her latest series of works, “The Chant of Gabriel’s Wings.


“I was mesmerized with the brilliance Suhrawardi had years ago in symbolically portraying what is perceived as meditation today. It is in this state, I find access to a deeper and greater level than thought its self.  . .”

Profoundly inspired by Suhrawardi and his ideologies—and while enraptured in a meditative state—Ferdos Maleki has created a new series of mixed media-based works using  cracking medium, acrylic paint and molding paste, executing a series of seven textured works that are ethereal and deafening, bold and yet still equally calming. To better understand Maleki’s work, one must first understand the story that inspired her.

The story begins one night when Suhrawardi, through meditation, left behind the material world and withdrew from his senses. He found himself wandering through the night, candle in hand, through a heightened realm. Referred to endearingly as, “closing the door to the city and opening

the door to the garden,” Suhwarardi was away from materiality and had fallen in the presence of 10 beautiful and radiant men. As they sat on the bench, only one man spoke to Suhrawardi while the other were silent, implying that Suhwarardi was not yet ready to communicate with the divine men as a whole.

Gabriel was the name of the vocal man, and he indeed did have two wings—one of which— the right wing, was wholly right and consisted of pure light, while the left, however, held traces of darkness, quite like the spots on the surface of the moon. The symbolism used in this tale is there to relate the divide of each wing to the nature of human existence in the world. This, of course, is the classic tale of light vs. dark, good vs. bad, evil vs. the divine. Gabriel’s right wing faced the world of the light—the world that is vulnerable and open to the Real. Gabriel’s left wing, however, faced the world of the dark—towards those that haven’t yet engaged their soul with the words of the Divine.

Through meditation, this higher level of love and light is experienced, creating the ability to produce work that is both aesthetically appealing and spiritually gratifying. For artists like Ferdos Maleki, this source of inspiration is not only valuable for creating art, but for living and experiencing a truly fulfilled life—in essence that light and love is embedded in each new piece of Ferdos Maleki’s new series, “Chant of Gabriel’s Wings” and is waiting to be experienced by you.