May 2012 Workshop: The Art of Islamic Pattern

The geometrically oriented style famously characterized as Islamic art is one that has been celebrated and practiced for centuries. Because Islam forbids representational art in religious contexts, such as the depiction of Allah or his prophets, Muslim artists harnessed their strengths in the maths and sciences: wiith the help of a compass, rule, and basic knowledge of geometrical and artistic techniques, Islamic art succeeded in creating transcendent patterns of beauty and spirituality. Many scholars believe these patterns to be permeated with metaphysical and cosmological significance.

Islam was a religion founded by nomadic, desert-dwelling people. In an effort to keep traveling light, art had to be easily mobile and preferably functional. Thus, the ornamental and geometric tessellations were often times depicted on tents, textiles, pottery, etc. As the Islamic pattern expanded into other media, its disciplined and math-oriented techniques made the transition a smooth one. The once smaller patterns could be easily expanded to greater dimensions without compromise.What is fascinating about the geometric, Islamic pattern is its paradoxical nature. By following the presumably inflexible and constricting laws of mathematics, we can connect to a beauty and truth that transcends all logic and explanation.

To learn more about this captivating art form, Al-Andalus Experience is proud to present its second annual workshop in The Art of Islamic Pattern. The four-day workshop starts May 24th and is taught by Adam Williamson, renowned sculptor and calligrapher, and Richard Henry, artist and expert in the subject of sacred and Islamic patterns. Our workshop will be held in Mesquita de Granada, in Albaycin. It includes a tour of the Alhambra’s Nazrid Palaces, to study the Islamic patterns there, and an Alfresco class held in Alhambra gardens. This is coupled with lessons in geometry and biomorphic design, plus guided tours and lectures with local specialists. We hope to see you there!

 

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Fiaz Mohammed

    Hello

    I am craftsman in leather using traditional English craftsmanship and found your site. Most of my work is North European style but my heart seeks new direction. Do you know of any avenues that could inspire me to design and make leather goods in the an Islamic and European fusion?

    Best regards
    Fiaz Mohammed

  2. az

    @Mohammed, thank you for posting such an interesting topic.
    You will like our next blog posts, covering Munira’s leather craft workshops in Granada next springtime. Munira has developed her own personal style including many designs with Islamic motives, as well as other styles or drawings. The leather traditions of al-Andalus, have since their time, developed into modernity precisely in a fusion of the Islamic and the European Reinaissance. Try searching ‘Mudejar Art in Spain’, the term meaning ‘adopted’ by the Christians after the Muslims. It may also be worth you visiting Cordoba where they have a very classical European style in leather design & decoration.
    Again, thank you for your interest and support!

  3. bw

    Thank you so much, your support and good wishes are appreciated!

  4. az

    Thanks, we hope to impress you further with the workshop!

  5. bw

    Thank you and spread the word!

  6. Nourah

    We are a group of Kuwaiti girls we visited Spain in Feb 2011, we loved the tour programs that was designed by Mr.Ahmad Zaruq. The workshop of the islamic pattern art was wonderful we had such a great time.

    1. az

      Thank you Nourah, very much appreciated, we’re all glad you enjoyed it here.

  7. wafa

    Al Andalus experience designed a great program for our group of 50 girl from Kuwait , every thing was well organised .
    Mr Ahmad Zaruq was a great tour organizer , we had a great time in Spain ,he was a great gentleman while dealing with us .
    We wish him all success in his business , and sure we will repeat our tour through him with another group 0f girls .

    1. az

      Thank you Wafa! Duha also sends her Salam to you all.

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