Of matter, space and time: Cosmic circles offer visual treat

“Within Walls” solo exhibition by Raazia Chandoo at My Art World.

Maha Mussadaq March 01, 2014
The character in the work comprises intricate repetitive geometric patterns of Islamic art. PHOTOS: EXPRESS


Crafting hypnotic geometric patterns while capturing the essence of light and shadow in interiors, Raazia Chandoo’s solo exhibition titled “Within Walls” mesmerized the audience displayed here Thursday evening.

While studying geometric patterning, she came across the technique ‘The Flower of Life’, a six- petal flower formed by seven interconnecting circles.  The pattern was relatively uncomplicated and provided a lyrical structure which allowed room for exploration of space and color.

Amalgamating acrylic, water colours, pen on paper, fine liners and ballpoints, Chandoo’s work is neat, chic and a visual treat that engrosses the viewer from a distance. The character in her work comprise intricate repetitive geometric patterns of Islamic art mostly rectangles and triangles, straight and diagonal that give a busy look but the use of subtle hues relaxes the eyes.

Using a disc template to create the perfect blend of pattern, Chandoo aesthetically creates her piece with overlapping circles that smoothly eclipses over various sizes and degrees. With her complex interplay of light and pattern, the division of space on paper exercises the eye to look deeper at the same time see the work from a distance to witness the whole.  The basis of all forms of this sacred geometry is seen in three dimensional form in the process of cell division.

The pattern is embossed on what may seem like a structure that consists of windows and doors. Utilizing the space on paper, the mystical space strategically leads to other dimensions of the work naturally.

It was as recent as the year 2012 when she stumbled upon the realization that the pattern she had been working on had appeared and reappeared in ancient cultures globally in art, architecture and texts. The Fibonacci Spiral, based on a numerical sequence, has appeared in Nature in seashells, the center of the sunflower, in the structure of the solar system and Milky Way and so on, explained Chandoo.

The patterns created by repetitive geometric forms reflect the ever-expanding, interdependent connectedness between space, matter and time, Chandoo said.

The flower of life was a pattern that started with the seed of life. She said while everything seemed to be following the same routine, while getting deeper into the subject she discovered the link between art and science.

In her statement she explains the relation between science and art.

“Science, with its quest to unravel the mysteries of the universe and to find answers to the human condition, relies on the language of mathematics.”  The Islamic geometric art is a visual expression of this language.

Using basic metalsmithing techniques- sheet, metal and wires to produce a series of necklaces, Chandoo also displayed two pieces of jewellery based on international folk culture and ancient Islamic art patterns in brass and silver.

“Chandoo’s work talks as a whole about depth, but at the same time precision, forethought and planning is reflected through the intricate detailing of angles that narrate different meanings,” said My Art World Chief Executive Officer Zainab Omar.

Chandoo, a New York based Pakistani artist showcased her collection from the year 2002 to 2014 for the first time in the capital. She had earlier exhibited her work in Karachi in 1999.  She has also designed fashion hair accessories in the past that were exhibited in London and Karachi.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 1st, 2014.


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