View of part of the Fujairah Corniche and the Hajar Mountains in the Background

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Richness of Islamic Art and Architecture

Artistic Wealth
The web site, Pattern in Islamic Art, deserves to be well known.

It offers an amazing view of the richness of art that has been inspired and nourished by Islam.

Posted on this site are thousands of high quality, free pictures of motifs, patterns and architectural structures, including mosques.

The pictures have been collected and posted in slide shows and archives and are supported by a host of background material and links to published material.

Growing International Collection
These pictures are drawn from many parts of the world but its major weakness is an absence of art that comes from the Emirates! (There are some from Qatar!)

This is where readers come in as the author of the site has travelled extensively, photographing the pictures and offering them to be enjoyed in what can only be described as a labor of love.

He is keen to be contacted in order to receive pictures of Islamic patterns that might extend this visual feast.

I asked the author and collector of this site, David Wade, how he got to develop Pattern in Islamic Art and what he has in mind in the way of goals for this gallery.

David said:
“I have been fascinated by Islamic decorative art since the 1960's, particularly in its geometrical aspects. I don't know why this is, it just appeals to me.”

“I went on to produce a book on the subject back in 1976, to coincide with a major exhibition on Islamic Art in London at that time (extracts from which are featured in the 'Drawings, Diagrams & Analyses' section of the PiIA website).”

“I carried on visiting Islamic countries, and photographing patterns etc., over the next 30 years, accumulating a fair collection of images out of this purely personal interest. With the advent of the internet however, and with considerable help from friends, I was able to make much of this material available to those with similar interests - and I have to say that it has been a great success, far exceeding my expectations.”

“As for my goals - I can honestly say that I have none, although, since putting up the site it has snowballed a bit, with others wanting to link and contribute to it. I imagine that this will continue in a low-key sort of way, but I have no real ambitions in this direction and I'm very happy with the site as it is.”

“As you might expect, the majority of those visiting the site are from non-Muslim countries. So, as an incidental effect, I feel I'm doing my bit in promoting a more positive view of Islamic culture -much needed these days, unfortunately.”

“Do let me know if you come across any images suitable for PiIA (I'd be very interested in those from Mecca or Medina of course).”

Thanks to David Wade for this magnificent site. Designers and art-lovers will appreciate the 4000+ pictures and will want to keep returning to see the old and new art treasures.

Pattern in Islamic Art.

On Related Sites
Fujairah is Going Hi-Tech in Advertizing, Fujairah in Focus, 15 September 2009.

What Will Be the Legacy of the America’s Cup in the Emirates? America’s Cup in the UAE, 14 September 2009.

Dr Geoff Pound

Geoff can be contacted by email at geoffpound(at) on Facebook and Twitter.

Image: A collage of some of the Islamic patterns that can be found at the above site.