Journal of Undergraduate Research


Islamic art, talismans, grid, geometric systems


Family, Home, and Social Sciences




I have been interested in systems of structure and calculation and how those systems manifest visually. In Rosalind Krauss’ essay on grids, she discusses the function of a grid to “map reality,” or using the grid as a tool to explain and interpret. When I first read this I became intrigued by the idea that the abstract grid can transform information into a literal object; perhaps, explaining the unknown. I thought about the prominence of the grid and geometric systems found in visual culture. I had already been creating work dealing with concepts of structures and patterns that refer to the specific. I had started using a system by taking body measurements of people close to me to create dimensions for objects and shapes in my paintings. I liked how using the specific information in an abstract way created a way for the same material to exist in a new world. I became increasingly interested in periods in history and art when visual information appeared abstracted or was manipulated by geometry. Upon learning about Islamic art and architecture, I was drawn to the idea of geometric patterns and designs existing in place of representational iconography Westerners might be accustomed to viewing in religious settings. Visuals found in Islamic art and architecture includes simplified and repetitive forms that facilitate contemplation and meditation.