In the summer of 2019 I will be teaching the following geometric pattern courses at The Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts, London and at Alqueria de Rosales, Spain. I will be covering different aspects of Islamic geometric design with a focus on communicating the core structural principles of this infinitely variable artform. (more…)
In September 2018 I gave a presentation about patterns constructed using grids at the 4th International Workshop on Geometric Patterns in Islamic Art in Istanbul. For the presentation I prepared these timelapse videos demonstrating different methods for constructing grids using ruler and compass and I have posted them here to be of service to a wider audience.
Square and isometric (triangular) grids provide a rich and expansive foundation for the exploration of geometric patterns. They have arisen from the simplest regular divisions of the 2D plane. The triangle and the square are two of the three regular polygons which can tile a 2D plane by themselves. The hexagon is the third but can be seen as a combination of 6 triangles so equates directly with the isometric grid. These first two videos show the basic construction of the hexagon and square from the circle, fundamental constructions in the study of geometric art.
Earlier this year the Qatar National Library opened a new permanent exhibition of artefacts from it’s Heritage Library collection. I was commissioned to make three timelapse videos demonstrating the construction of geometric designs featured in particular artefacts, to be displayed alongside the original pieces. In order to create the films I analysed and reconstructed the three designs and then produced these timelapse films demonstrating how the designs could have been constructed using the traditional tools of ruler and compass. It was an incredibly satisfying challenge which allowed me to incorporate a wide range of skills into one project.
The videos are currently on display the library and the exhibition also features books, manuscripts, historical photographs, maps, globes and travellers’ instruments that tell the story of Qatar, along with the history of science, literature, writing, travel in the region, and much more.
“Geometry is an inexhaustible well of formal beauty with which to fill our bucket; but before the draught is fit for use it should be examined, analysed and filtered through the consciousness of the artist.”
Claude Bragdon, from Projective Ornament (1915)
These are the fruits of an audiovisual collaboration between Ali Wade and myself. The music is by Ali taken from his recent album Geomorphology on the Frequency Domain label. The visual element is a shapeshifting collaboration of techniques between Ali and myself, combining freeform monochrome ink and chemical experiments with slow-moving geometric structures and transforming them into a tectonic whole.
Inspired by Professor Miroslaw Majewski’s exploration of the pattern above left, seen at the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, I have developed a practical ruler and compass construction method which allows for the creation of a set of tiles which can be configured in numerous ways, giving rise to a whole range of patterns. Working through this method gives an insight into how a subgrid of regular polygons can underpin the construction of Islamic patterns and provide us with a key for the development of further patterns. (more…)
Over the summer months, I have been beavering away on a new body of print work created by relief printing from lasercut tiles. The shapes of the tiles arise from different symmetries and result in different vocabularies of form which can be configured into a rich language of pattern. The prints above are all available for sale in short limited runs of between 5 and 10 prints.
I’m also very pleased to announce that I have been invited to speak at the 3rd Annual Workshop on Geometric Pattern in Islamic Art at the Istanbul Design Centre starting on Saturday 20th September. This provides an ideal opportunity to present this project and the resulting prints, as well as giving an insight into the process I have developed.
In addition, I will be teaching two pattern drawing workshops which involve creating geometric patterns using the traditional tools of ruler and compass.
There are some great speakers, not least Jean-Marc Castera whose incredible tome Arabesques has been a great influence on this project. I’m very honoured and excited to be involved in this event. Many thanks to Mirek Majewski for inviting me and for supporting my work.
As part of a Feast Film Nights screening of the incredible and inspiring documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune, DJ Food (Ninja Tune records) weaved together an hour long set of music and samples connected with Frank Herbert’s most famous novel, Dune, accompanied by my cosmic geometric animations. (more…)
I recently had the pleasure of attending a screening at the Tate Britain featuring work by Semiconductor Films. The duo have been a big inspiration for me in terms of moving image and sound but I hadn’t heard what they’d been up to since their residency with NASA. It was insightful to hear them speak, however briefly, about the ethos behind some of their work. (more…)