Key Concepts in Islamic Art
- Islamic art is non-representational. Artistic expression is found through abstract decorative art rather than a pictorial imitation of nature.
- Artistic expression is founded on the principle of balance and order - seen as the basis of the laws of creation.
- Geometry means "land measure". Ropes were used as compasses.
- There is no need for calculations - all constructions are based on straight edge and compasses.
- The repeat unit is determined by the use of a circle:
Square system, including octagons
Also pentagonal system.
- The systematic arrangement of a repeat unit is used to produce an overall design.
Thanks to Alessandra Desbottes & Nigel Appleton for many of the photographs.
There are numerous possibilities for teaching mathematics through the medium of islamic art, here are but three:
Area and Perimeter
However, it will also be an interesting and rewarding challenge for many pupils simply to recreate a geometric design like this on a square grid:
-How could you draw out this design on squared paper...?
Click here for more design ideas.