Since childhood Burhanuddin Ratlamwala had a curiosity about geometry. He was fascinated by the shapes and complex symmetries. Back then, he never knew that he’d find a passion for exploring the art of ‘Islamic geometry’ and pattern. As well as being an artistic skill, it has also offered a creative opportunity to address wellbeing.
We talk to Burhanuddin about his creative process and future aspirations.
What made you interested in Islamic geometric patterns?
I’ve been already fond of Geometry, always loving the compass and scale, drew things which I didn’t even know before I started pursuing this art.
What tools and drafting methods do you use? Can you tell us more about your process?
I generally use the very old and ancient method which is with geometry compass and scale. They make thousands pattern and designs together. I usually start making the construction and then trace it on final drawing paper. And use more deep and royal colors to make a fine artwork.
You also work with the Kufic script, how did you learn the art of calligraphy?
Well, I used to do some calligraphy work back then when I was in madarasa. Thus I knew the kufi calligraphy and was curious to go deeper in kufi calligraphy. I’m not the expert yet in it, but I’m still learning it via online.
Your work is incredibly detailed, how long does it take you to create a painting?
For detailed fine artwork, it’ll take more than 10 hours with breaks. Sometime all we need is to slow down the process in order to achieve a work of art.
How do you come up with your colour compositions?
It’s a secret of my artwork. Shhhhh! ;)
Which artists have influenced your creative practice?
Samira Mian and Antara Biswas, they both participate huge in success of my art. I’ve learnt a lot from them.
Which is your favorite work you have created to date? And your most challenging work?
My favorite work till date is the recent one ‘Al Tasneem’. I named it in respect of my late aunt. And my complicated work till now is the one From Alhambra palace pattern. When I was painting it, the color palette fell out of my hand and across half of painting, and ruined it. But then I cut it up the painting and still kept going.
What do you hope audiences feel or think when they encounter your work?
I want to show the audience and want them to feel the ancient patterns in one place.
Is there a spiritual element to your work?
Yes there is a spiritual element to my painting. I made them for all the people who love art and ancientIslamic places. Through my work they can experience the ancient patterns and feel a spiritual connection without having to visit the place.
What are your aspirations as an artist?
I hope I’ll be able to draw more and more patterns from the world, - and place them all one place.
For more information follow Burhanuddin Ratlamwala on Instagram @islamicgeometryisfun
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