Three international artists, who are alumni of the Prince’s School of Traditional Arts in London, visited HCT Madinat Zayed Women’s College last week to work with students on the rudiments of Islamic Design.
The team of artists, Dana Al Awartani, Isra Butt and Haifa Munir Sadiq Khawaja, were brought to the college by ADMAF (Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation) to do a workshop with students from the Liberal Studies Art Appreciation course at the college. These workshops are an invaluable part of the learning on the course, providing an opportunity for students to try their hand at doing some of the art they have been learning about.
Haifa gave an explanation of the basic geometry involved in Islamic Design and then the students created their own geometric patterns. Geometric motifs are central to Islamic art and are used by Islamic artists and designers in all parts of the world for decorating almost everything including walls, floors, pots, lamps, book covers and textiles. This was a very creative part of the workshop, where students discovered the infinite complexity of geometric design and it gave them a chance to create their own designs before looking at some of the more traditional ways geometry has been used in art for centuries.
After creating their own patterns, the students came together with Dana, Isra and Haifa and their colleagues from ADMAF, Rana Chakar and Wafaa Diab, to work as one big team to meticulously paint some intricate designs they were provided with. The tradition has spread to many parts of the world, but the students focused on the art of Ancient Persia and by taking a small part of the design each, they came together to create one beautiful painting.
The Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) seeks to nurture the arts, education, culture and creativity in the UAE for the benefit of society and the advancement of Abu Dhabi’s cultural vision.
The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts was founded in 2004 by HRH The Prince of Wales. It developed from the Visual Islamic and Traditional Arts Programme at the Royal College of Art in London. It promotes the practice of and research into the traditional arts up to Masters and Doctoral level.