Travels in Textiles


Saturday, 5 February 2011

Araam: Breathing Space

Its such a miserable rainy day today that the only venture I made outside was to go and see Araam: Breathing Space at Waterside arts centre in Sale. And I'm glad I did. The gallery was a nice breathing space and escape from the rain!

The exhibition was put on by Shisha, an organisationI have raved about in previous blogs, in partnership with Mid Penine Arts. It displayed new works by two successful and exciting artists Halima Cassell and Zarah Hussain. I had seen a bit of Zarah Hussain's work before and always been fascinated by it. This new work was exciting and fresh.

Composition with 24 fold rosettes, Zarah Hussain
I was equally captivated by Halima Cassell's work. The sculptural geometric shapes are alluring in an aesthetically and textually pleasing way. It was interesting to see her study sketches and to see where her ideas coming from - predominantly Islamic symbolic art
Crystalline, Halima Cassell

Circle, Zarah Hussain

Below - 'Submission' and 'Infinite' by Zarah Hussain
Above is a digital projection of changing geometrical patterns similar to those in Hussain's paints. As each pattern is projected part of it fades for example the outline, making the pattern inside the outline more prominent. The above green rosette shapes faded so the yellow stars were eventually on their own. So a very dense pattern gradually fades into nothing and another colour range or different pattern will then emerge. This mesmerising display seemed to take the Islamic design rule of repeating infinite shapes and patterns even further by creating an ongoing movement of the patterns morphing into and out of each other.
On the contrary this animation played with the usually symmetrical patterns in an asymmetrical way. Motifs were in motion randomly, falling and floating over the screen. Sometimes two motifs will cross each other and create a whole new denser pattern for an instance.
Circle of life, Halima Cassell