Al-Warqaa is a sculpture created by artist Adel Abidin. Currently based in Helsinki, the Iraqi artist says the piece was “inspired by Ibn Sina’s poem (Avicenna) where he makes an analogy between ‘soul’ and ‘dove’ by comparing the journey of the soul with the flight of a dove.” The piece was commissioned by United Arab Emirates-based Barjeel Art Foundation and was recently exhibited as part of Dubai’s 2013 Art Week. It was developed by the artist in response to an event that took place in March, 2012, where at least 90 Iraqi students with ’emo’ appearances were stoned to death by religious extremists in Baghdad.
Using steel, acrylic, and LED lights, Abidin produced a visual interpretation of the poetic words in an attempt to explore the concept of freedom, death, and everything in between. In the piece, a metallic, dove-like creature attempts to break free from its bindings but is anchored to the ground by a rock. The creature, who is illuminated by LED lights and has a wingspan of almost 20 feet wide, represents the idea that once a soul breaks free from the body, it realizes freedom and can exist eternally as separate from the human form.