Ibrahim Abumsma, ‘Al Mabkhara’, 2010, ATHR


Incense has been an object familiar to humanity since the dawn of civilization and has come to mean different things to the different peoples who have used it. Given the wide diversity of such peoples and their practices, it would be impossible to form an all-inclusive list of the ways in which incense has come to be used, seeing as the methods and purposes of its employment are as diverse and nuanced as those who have employed it. It is certainly a common factor amongst most earthly religions, including religions that have been the cause of many battles throughout history. The artist draws on and exaggerates the similar shapes of the incense burner and the mortar shell – a lethal weapon used in modern warfare. The result is the creation of a new and unique object, the purpose of which is to symbolically replace gunpowder with aromatic incense to spread peace and love amongst mankind.

Image rights: Curtesy of the artist and ATHR