Monthly Archives: March 2014

A Hidden Order

I had the opportunity to attend the private view and launch of A Hidden Order at the Princes School of Traditional Arts. The project is a collaboration between geometer Sama Mara and composer Lee Westwood who have created a digital method for producing Islamic geometric patterns using sound.

The design of the patterns were projected showing how the pattern built up further and further based on the composition of the musical sounds. Each key or note was interpreted by a program that would then convert the sound to form part of a colour and shape system. The programming was meticulously developed by Sama Mara but the development interface plays a hidden role in the final display of the artwork.

Read more about the project on the official website here: www.musicalforms.com/

Projection from live performance of A Hidden Order by Sama Mara and Lee Westwood

Projection from live performance of A Hidden Order by Sama Mara and Lee Westwood

Once the patterns have been generated they can be seen as standalone visuals. These were exhibited as digital prints along the walls at the PSTA.

Print generated from A Hidden Order

Print generated from A Hidden Order

Jameel Prize 3 exhibition 11 Dec 2013 – 21 April 2014

The Jameel Prize is an international award designed to highlight the production of contemporary art and design which has been inspired by Islamic traditions.

The Jameel Prize 3 winners, Dice Kayek, are a fashion house based in Istanbul whose collection of garments ‘Istanbul Contrast’, for which they won the prize, was inspired by the famous architectural sites of Istanbul.

Istanbul Contrast by Dice Kayek, Winner of Jameel Prize 3, Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Istanbul Contrast by Dice Kayek, Winner of Jameel Prize 3, Victoria & Albert Museum, London

The garments in Istanbul Contrast bring to mind the famous domes of Istanbul’s historical mosques and are an example of how Islamic artistic styles can be applied to a range of mediums. The cross-application of aesthetics from one medium to another is much like the methods adopted by traditional Islamic artisans in the vast history of Islamic art. Traditional artists were more akin to craftsmen who were known to decorate varying items of differing materials using the same stylistic designs including ceramics, metalwork and wood.

Inspiration from the architecture of Istanbul is not new. A previous nomination in the 2009 short-list of the same prize included the work of jeweller Sevan Biçakçi who created miniature scenes of Istanbul in the form of rings.

 

Saray Burnu (Seraglio Point). 2005 Umut Kapısı (The Gate of Hope). 2007 Sevan Biçakçi

Saray Burnu (Seraglio Point), 2005
Umut Kapısı (The Gate of Hope), 2007
Sevan Biçakçi

All shortlisted nominations are featured in the current exhibition at  the Victoria and Albert Musuem, London on show until 21 April 2014.

Some of the featured work includes pieces which are digital in form such as the multi-media installations by Mounir Fatmi – Modern Times: A History of the Machine and Technologia. These installations are animated videos projected on to the walls supported by static noise audio.

Still from Mounir Fatmi's Modern Times: A History of the Machine, Jameel Prize 3 exhibition, V&A, London, 2013

Still from Mounir Fatmi’s Modern Times: A History of the Machine, Jameel Prize 3 exhibition, V&A, London, 2013

Another artist who made use of digital technology was Faig Ahmed who designed his carpets using computer software before having them hand-made in the traditional weaving method of Azerbaijan.

Hollow, Pixellate Tradition by Faig Ahmed, Jameel Prize 3 exhibition, V&A, London, 2013

Hollow, Pixellate Tradition by Faig Ahmed, Jameel Prize 3 exhibition, V&A, London, 2013

To see more of the striking artworks on show visit the V&A before the exhibition ends on 21 April 2014.

To learn more about the current exhibition:  http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/exhibitions/exhibition-jameel-prize/

To learn more about the Jameel Prize: http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/exhibitions/exhibition-jameel-prize/jameel-prize/