mixed media, 2011-2014
These pieces were inspired by the rhythmic Arabesque foliage patterns adorning Islamic tile work. Visiting the Alhambra in Granada, Spain, I was captivated by the sensual patterns breathing life into geometric form.
Back home, I began to research the principals of sacred geometry in Islamic art. The motifs I selected were digitally modified to accentuate the scale and flow of shapes. The imagery was printed on sheets of transparent mylar, the rich colors developed through alternating layers of paint and ink washes. Negative spaces were cut away, allowing the pieces to break free from the rectangular format and gain an organic spatial presence.
As this work unfolded, it was informed by disparate references, including Dutch vanitas with their ruminations on life and death and the use of symbolic elements. I began to think metaphorically about each of the seasons and processes of growth and decay. While the geometric motifs are fractured, the vines are used as a unifying element that permits the imagery to remain intact. These pieces speak to the fragility of the natural environment and simultaneously take delight in its beauty.
My use of Islamic motifs is related to an interest in sacred geometry and a broader interest in the contributions of the Middle East to our historical breadth of knowledge. Generous support from the Puffin Foundation came at a crucial moment and provided resources for the development of this work.