In the second of a series of three, here is some geometric patterned art done by students from Thomas More College of Liberal Arts during the course of the year as part of the Way of Beauty class. In this exercise I asked them to construct an eight pointed pattern that is traditional in Islamic art. I wanted them to make sure that they did an over-and-under feature as the 'tape' that defines the pattern cuts back across itself. Also, I wanted a pattern that had a unity in itself, and so they had to design a simple border for it and designs for the four corners. In the class that I teach, the Way of Beauty, this is an exercise that prepares the student for a larger project in which they are asked to design the floor of either a church sanctuary or nave using traditional Romanesque design patterns. These will be shown in the next posting in this series in a week's time.
We go to Islamic art for these exercises because this is a living tradition and there are text books that explain how to construct these patterns. It is not a new idea for Christians to look to Islamic culture - I have written a number of times in the past of occasions when this was done, most notably in a series of churches built in Sicily when ruled by the Normans in the 11th century. Islam took geometric patterned art from the Byazantine Christian lands that it conquered during its early expansion and then developed it into a distinct and complex form.
The student's whose work is featured are in the order that they appear: Cecilia Black, Amy Green and Nicole Martin