Born in Baghdad in 1939, El-Said studied architecture at Cambridge University before concentrating on painting, printmaking and sculpture.
By expressing the Islamic tradition in contemporary idiom, his works helped to create a bridge between the artistic cultures of the West and of Islam. Each of sixteen plates used in these four different images contains the name of Allah written twice in angular Kufic script. The juxtaposition of darkness and light and the infinite range of different patterns which can be achieved from this simple base symbolise the Islamic concept of Divine Unity as the source and culmination of all diversity. One can hang each print in from four to eight different ways-including diagonally from the corners-to vary dramatically the visual impact without disturbing the fundamental visual or decorative effect.