Melissa Gordon
Hagar and Sarah, drawingOrnament StudyIslamic Pattern StudyStudies in Ornamental OppositesStudies in Ornamental Opposites, detailStudies in Ornamental OppositesStudies in Ornamental Opposites, detail
Hagar and Sarah
The Biblical account of Abraham and his two sons, Ishmael and Isaac, is the origin of two distinct people groups and religions. This series of drawings and embroideries investigates this story from the perspective of the two women who conceived Abraham’s sons. The story of Hagar and Sarah sheds new light on Jewish/Islamic origins, as well as their respective religions. Retelling the account from a contemporary female perspective allows the narrative to be reevaluated. The story is historically understood as the pivotal point that splits the Islamic and Judeo-Christian religions. Hagar and her son Ishmael are associated with the twelve tribes that founded the Muslim tradition while Sarah and Isaac are directly linked to the Jewish and Christian lineage. However, as one studies the texts of each religious faction, it becomes apparent that the conflict, which is the catalyst for intense religious division still apparent today, is actually erroneous. Each religion believes that their mother and son are blessed by God, therefore indicating superiority over the other religion when it could be argued that both parties are blessed by God. Unfortunately, throughout history humanity has pinned brother against brother, and mother against mother in order to elevate their own religious imperatives.