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!