The Hand of Fatima, an ancient motif in northern African and Middle Eastern art and architecture, is rich in meaning. The symbol is also known as khamsa and the Eye of Fatima in Islamic tradition. The Hand of Fatima symbolises divine protection, freedom and peaceful co-existence with others and is used in amulets, jewellery and architectural features. Predating Islam, the symbol has been widely assimilated into Islamic art.
The Iranian-Australian artist Farideh Zariv has, since 1990, collected more than eighty artworks incorporating the Hand of Fatima; collected from Iran, all over the Arabian world and India. Selected pieces will be on display. Also displayed will be multi-media artworks by Zariv that were inspired by the Hand of Fatima. According to Zariv, “…each hand has a message for humankind. The Hand of Fatima is a symbol of that message, carrying spiritual and mystical meanings. This hand could be a hand of light, showing humankind the way to brightness and peace. It could also be a hand, which directs human attention to inner spirituality. In my art I try to convey this message, including the essence of the hand, in the title of each work.”