The Universal Principles of Islamic Art

NOA Community Centre (Ferry Centre)
Summertown, Oxford

(click for map etc.)

For centuries, the nature and meaning of Islamic art has tended to be misunderstood in the West, being regarded as no more than decoration. This pictural survey of the geometrical patterns of Islamic art will reveal how they express intrinsic cosmological laws affecting all Creation. Their primary function is to lead the mind from the literal and mundane world towards an underlying spiritual reality.

The recovery of an understanding of the symbolic meaning of these patterns and, furthermore, of the practical skill to embody them in art, craft and architecture, enables us to see the beauty of the eternal that shines through the world of the transient. The principles of Islamic art do not only belong to Islam, but are universal principles that are the birthright of every human being.

Keith Critchlow is internationally renowned as a lecturer, teacher and author on the geometry and architecture of the sacred. In 1984 he founded the Visual Islamic and Traditional Arts programme (V.I.T.A.) at the Royal College of Art, the first Islamic art department within the Western academic system, pioneering practical post-graduate degrees at MA and doctoral level. V.I.T.A. now forms the core education programme of the Prince's School of Traditional Arts, of which Keith Critchlow is Professor Emeritus. Keith Critchlow is also the President of the Temenos Academy and author of several books including Order in Space: A Design Source Book (1969) and Islamic Patterns: An Analytical and Cosmological Approach (1976).

6.00 (Friends 3.00)