Walid Siti, drawings from the series Precious Stones, 1997-2010 (source).
In 2008, Siti wrote: “Throughout world history and in many different societies, stone objects have served as focal points, their wealth of symbolic meaning drawing people together and reinforcing social codes. Over the last ten years I have worked on Precious Stones, a series of drawings on paper in which I have tried to explore stones from this perspective.
Prehistoric stones and natural rocks as well as carved stones in buildings have profound meanings that occasionally surpass original purpose. They become metaphors with political or spiritual associations, such as black stone of Mecca, the pyramids, various monuments and memorials, tombs, triumphal arches, and so on. The stone is universal in its symbolic role, which crosses cultures, time and place.
Precious Stones is an attempt to convey the relationships these sacred stones have with their surroundings. I place them in the centre of the drawing, where they radiate a circular motion around themselves, indicating energy and change, like the circumbulations performed around the Ka’aba or the movements of crowds in various places of veneration.” *