ASID is thrilled to announce the winner of our first-ever Instagram #SpaceMatters contest, in honor of World Interiors Day last month! The winning photo, of a devotee’s afternoon prayer at mosque in Tblisi, Georgia, was taken by Mahtab Mirtaheri. She is the lucky recipient of an ASID Swag Bag!
Mahtab is an interior designer from Iran (currently living in Berlin) who loves to travel and take photos of spaces and people, capturing moments of her life through amateur photography and memoirs. She posts her photos and memoirs (mostly in Farsi) on Instagram.
The photo was taken on Sept. 19, 2010, when Mahtab was visiting the Tbilisi Mosque in Georgia. Built in 1895, it is the only mosque in Tbilisi that survived Lavrenty Beria’s antireligious purges of the 1930s. Both Shiite and Sunni Muslims pray together here (which is unusual) and visitors were welcome to enter after removing shoes.
Below, Mahtab describes why Space Matters, in her image — and throughout all the spaces we inhabit:
“All elements of designing a great worship space are well-considered in this place, such as the high and prettily frescoed ceiling, symmetric artwork and mosaic patterns. These all are in respect to the focal point of the sanctuary, which is called the ‘mehrab,’ where the imam of the mosque stands facing the wall. Everybody else will follow him in a well-ordered manner using the flooring patterns as a guide. This means each devotee will be placed in an image of the ‘mehrab’ on the carpet.
Due to the tall and wide windows, there is plenty of daylight in this space, and the lighting fixtures are both decorative and functional. Simple woodwork is used as a decorative element to trim walls and create a warm and cozy space as well. In the right corner, there is a tall chair for the imam or speakers to sit on while giving lectures, designed to stand out from the crowded floor. (Even a sound system device and a microphone can be found next to the tall chair.)
In here, all those elements are simply and neatly designed to create a welcoming religious worship space for visitors and devotees. I sat there in the back and enjoyed some moments of silence.”
Read more about World Interiors Day here!
Photo by Mahtab Mirtaheri