Numina, Sculptural Installation
Lose yourself in the mesmerising, shifting patterns of Zarah Hussain’s sculptural installation Numina – a piece that takes the artform of Islamic geometry and adds a whole new dimension to it.
Blurring the boundaries between science and spirituality, Islamic geometry is traditionally drawn by hand with a ruler and pen, using mathematics that celebrate the order and structure found in the universe to create infinite repeating patterns. Taking the essence of this, Numina combines designs found in the art and architecture of the Islamic world with contemporary digital arts, bringing to life a usually static artform by mapping animated geometric patterns onto a sculpture composed of tessellating pyramids arranged on a hexagonal grid.
The presence of infinite repeating patterns in Islamic spaces is conducive to meditative and transcendent states. In the same way, Numina creates a space within the Barbican for contemplation and reflection, as the perfect accompaniment to Transcender – the Barbican’s season of ecstatic, hypnotic and psychedelic music from across the globe.
Zarah Hussain’s installation, as part of the Transcender Festival, is on view at the Barbican Centre in London until November 9, 2016.
Zarah Hussain is an MA graduate of the Visual Islamic and Traditional Art programme at the Prince’s School for Traditional Arts in London. She has spent many years perfecting the traditional techniques for creating mathematically precise, geometric art and then adapting them to produce unique works with a contemporary resonance across a range of disciplines. Her work is held in many national collections.
Numina is the latest in a series of installations Zarah Hussain has designed for the Barbican, following on from The Magic Carpet at last year’s Walthamstow Garden Party, which mapped geometric patterns onto the exterior William Morris Gallery, and projections she designed for Faiz Ali Faiz and Sain Zahoor’s performance in the Barbican Hall last September which transformed the stage with huge hypnotic patterns.