Workshops in Doha

Children stencil tessallating geometric patterns.

I have recently returned to the UK after delivering a series of workshops in Doha, Qatar. For two weeks in July / August 2012, myself and two colleagues from the Prince’s School of Traditional Arts led Islamic art classes at Katara Cultural Village. The workshops were a great success, and were even featured in a lovely article in The Gulf Times! As usual, the trip was very busy, very tiring, but also very fun! I particularly enjoyed spending time in Doha during Ramadan. During the day, the streets are quiet, but everything comes alive at night! The atmosphere is very special. With the nocturnal eating hours of Ramadan, the city buzzes in anticipation of the secret midnight feast and night time prayers.

Square and hexagon shaped "tiles" are ready to be cut out and tessellated.

It is late here in the UK, and I am tired, so I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking. Above are some examples from our geometric stencilling workshop. Students used paints and stipling brushes to stencil geometric patterns onto square, hexagon and triangular shaped “tiles”. The “tiles” were then tessellated to form several group projects. The results are below:

One of our competed group projects - consisting of stencilled hexagons tessellated together.

My colleagues and I put the finishing touches to one of the group projects.

We also led a workshop on Platonic solids. Our students coloured the surface pattern on polyhedra nets, which were then cut out and assembled to form 3D shapes:

A student paints, then constructs an octahedron, as part of our Platonic solids workshop.

Two brothers work together on colouring their octahedron.

Some of the completed Platonic Solids - great as festive decorations!

Students had the opportunity to learn about floral design in Islamic art. Using inspiration from nature, we led them through a simple workshop on rotational symmetry, which resulted in the following beautiful tessellating patterns:

'Breath of The Compassionate' group project.

At the end of the week, my colleague and I led special adult classes in traditional geometry and Islamic manuscript illumination. As part of the illumination class, I showed some of my own work, and taught students gilding and brushwork techniques:

A student working on her piece from the Islamic manuscript illumination class - this requires very careful concentration!

Student's work from the Islamic manuscript illumination class.

A belated Eid Mubarak to you all!

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