When Anila Quayyum Agha was growing up in Lahore there were beautiful mosques everywhere, all filled with magnificent pattern and design, but she never saw inside those buildings. For a girl that was impossible. Only men and boys were allowed in.
On a trip to the Alhambra palaces in Spain a few years ago she saw at last, in person, the Islamic art that had been denied her as a child. All fired up. she returned to Indianapolis and began to create this beautiful thing, her 'Intersections' cube. A year in the making, it's a two-metre square laser-cut wooden cube with a single light in its centre. Hung from a gallery ceiling, that light spreads its beauty all around.
What a wonderful metaphor for the life of a girl whose early years were so constrained and restricted - and whose family became scorned and marginalised because her engineer father happened to work for President Bhutto, who was overthrown and hanged.
Agha's spirit could not be boxed in. Now, see how she shines. It has messages for all of us who've ever felt hemmed in.
Ironically, when she entered her piece in an art contest it scored only third place. But since then images have been posted and re-posted on the internet, drawing approval from all over the planet.
Thanks to @CKightlinger and the Sky Blue Window blog for alerting me to this cool example of truly expansive thinking.