This painting was inspired by Lucy Mack Smith’s description of the urim and thummim as “2 smooth 3 cornered diamonds.” I imagined this mysterious tool in geometric form as triangles – one striving heavenward, the other reaching earthward – until a bridge of light was formed.
Using compasses and square, I built up a composition of triangles. Gradually a pattern revealed itself. While this design has its roots in a traditional Islamic pattern, as I drew and painted, it became something new. The process of discovering a new pattern feels to me very much like the process of revelation.
I make my own paints – my teachers in London taught that the discipline of preparing one’s materials from the earth was participation refining and purifying matter, elevating it from something base to something spiritual. Preparing my colours becomes a meditation on creativity and Creation. Subtle textures sparkle up and down to make a pillar of light. I chose gold leaf and crushed minerals to reflect and refract the light. Even the glittery black was gathered from the seaside on the island of Hormuz.
At the very centre of the composition, the navel is marked in blood red – the point where heaven and earth meet. Tiny gold triangles at the top and base of the composition echo the shapes Mother Smith described.