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Infinite Possibilities, Ameet Hindocha

For Ameet Hindocha developing a multi-disciplinary practice with the exploration of geometry at it’s core has allowed him to explore the structural possibilities of geometry, within a visual and process-led framework. It has allowed him to tap into an ancient but living tradition of design, and explore it with the tools available today and the possibilities they offer. We talk to Ameet about the range of media he uses in his work, embarking in the digital art world and NFT's and his thoughts on the future of Islamic art and culture.

What made you interested in Islamic geometric patterns?

I’ve always had an interest in systematic art forms, in particular those that overlap with mathematics. But it was a short course at Prince’s School of Traditional Arts called Geometry and the Order of Nature taught by Tom Bree that really fired up my interest in Islamic geometry and introduced me to both the practical methods of construction with ruler and compass, and to the contemplative and spiritual side of the practice.

Did you take up any formal art training?

One of the reasons I incorporated these new skills in geometric construction into my art and design practice so readily is because I was already a trained and practicing graphic designer. I have also taught creative technical skills at the University of Arts London for almost 20 years so I am attuned to current art and design practice. The study at the Prince’s School gave me a better understanding of traditional craft skills and their context. The way this knowledge overlaps with contemporary and digital-led creative practice has informed my practice as a maker and as an educator.

As well as paint, you also have traditional skills in marquetry and digital technology. Can you tell us more about your process?

I have always been interested in exploring a range of image-making processes, especially the potential that arises when different processes are combined to reveal unique outcomes. I become restless if I restrict myself to a small range of materials or processes. I have found this frustrating in the past because I felt like I could never become really good at any one thing but I have learned to embrace this restlessness and the resulting slowness of developing proficiency. I've realised there is no rush to get anywhere because there is no destination, only the journey.

Geometry has given me a focal point within which I can explore all kinds of materials and processes while giving my practice a sense of coherence as a whole. I see my practice as a continuum where each design or outcome suggests new possibilities. By not fixating on the outcomes, the driving force behind the work has a momentum that seems to have a life of it’s own.

What has been the most challenging work you have created to date?

The drawing currently half-finished on my table and book project I have been working on for the last few years are some of most challenging works I have made. Challenges should increase with my skill and understanding so it feels right that the most recent work is the most challenging, and the next ones even more so. Hopefully they will surface sometime soon for others to appreciate.

What do you hope audiences feel or think when they encounter your work?

To be honest, I don’t presume or enforce what an audience might feel or think in response to my work. I make the work that interests me and am appreciative if people give it the time to develop a response. Any piece of art is only partly the creator’s. Once it has been released into the world, what an audience might feel or think is their part of the piece of work and I am grateful that anyone is even paying attention.

You are also an educator, why is it important for you to keep the tradition of Islamic art alive?

I have found it such an enriching experience to be involved in this practice, to learn about its history and to play my small role in an aspect of human creative endeavour that has carried on for centuries. My aim is to inspire students to discover the traditional skills of geometric construction as fundamental tools for design in the modern world.

Passing my enthusiasm for geometry on to others to inform their creative practices and to connect with something larger than them feels like a worthwhile thing to do. I like to think it goes some way to undoing some of the negative influence of our highly commercialised society by focusing on slow, immersive, hands-on practice with an exploration of the beauty of number at it’s core.