"Concealed within the weave of a carpet are secrets, processes, and events. It is a signifier of local identity, which represents connections between nature, geography, and culture. For Fatma Shanan, who was born and raised in the Druze village of Julis, a carpet is before all else a home" (Carmit Blumensohn, Fatma Shanan Dery, A Single Continuum, p. 98). In Shanan's powerful, monumental self-portrait, the artist weaves her own image into her primary motif, the Oriental carpet. The self-portrait throughout the history of art has served as a reflection of identity and in Shanan's work, the artist's identity is inextricably intertwined with the carpet's thematic identity: hospitality, ritual, tradition, domesticity, multi-culturalism, ornament, craft, community, gender. Shanan's research into traditional arabesque carpet decoration has informed her transition from painting impressionistic representations of carpets, to illustrating a more specific historical iconography. These figures surround the figure of the artist, rooting her in a mythological history that adds a layer of story-telling to the piece.