Early Bird Price
Book by Wed 31 May, mid-day UK time for the Early Bird Price of £720. The cost of the Summer School goes up to £800 thereafter.
Join us in London for our annual Geometry Summer School. This intensive week-long experience includes in-person instruction with leading tutors in geometry and the manuscript arts. During the week, a team of experts will guide participants practical explorations of Mamluk manuscripts, lead visits to London’s libraries and galleries to study geometric pages for evidence of historic working methods, and share their insights on the application of geometry in a contemporary traditional arts.
The Geometry Summer School is accessible to all levels of geometry experience, with a variety of activities increasing in complexity as the week progresses. In addition to studying historical manuscripts at the British Library, participants will also have the opportunity to try their hand at working with gold leaf and lapis lazuli.
The geometry of Mamluk illumination will receive special emphasis throughout the week, but we will also touch on other cultures’ engagement with the Book Arts. We will explore the constraints and freedoms of the page, considering page layout, text styles, and decorative elements.
We also continue our tradition of the Geometry Summer School Analysis Challenge. A favourite event of both participants and presenters, this session invites all to study a masterpiece of geometric design and to share their discoveries. This year’s challenge pattern has been selected; it promises to yield profound insights into issues surrounding reconciling different proportional systems and composing a design in harmony with the proportions of a page.
More details, including a schedule and session descriptions will be posted in the coming months. Our confirmed presenters include: Alan Adams, Lisa DeLong, Ayesha Gamiet, Bink Hallum, Ameet Hindocha, Joumana Medlej, Katya Nosyreva, Adiba Romero Sanchez, and Daud Sutton.
Alan Adams retired in 2008 to pursue a lifelong interest in understanding the structure of Islamic geometric art, particularly the stunning executions in wood of the Mamluks. A grounding in technical drawing from years as a draftsman, before the introduction of CAD, and a career as a scientist served as a foundation for a self-taught path. As an independent student it was clear that there was no good founding text to guide the way. A community Facebook page was established in February of 2014 to share the knowledge, questions, and discoveries of his and of the thousands of members’ individual journeys of discovery; “Drawing Islamic Geometric Designs.” Many helpful contributions from experts and novices have made it a very interesting forum. Lessons in the technicalities of drawing, answers to specific questions, and discussions of the geometric foundations of designs are common exchanges. The ideal end of Alan’s journey would be to master the Mamluk art of wooden panel construction in intricate pattern and to describe it in an English language publication.
Ameet Hindocha is an artist and designer with a long-standing interest in mathematics, nature and pattern and their expression in the visual arts. In recent years this has manifested itself in ongoing research and application of geometric principles to a wide variety of media and processes. He also teaches on the Foundation Art & Design Diploma at Camberwell College of Arts.
Ayesha Gamiet is an artist, illustrator and art educator from the South East of England. Her work is inspired by traditional Islamic arts and the beauty of nature. Ayesha's interest in art and culture led her to pursue a BA in African and Asian Art History and Archaeology at SOAS, University of London, and a Master's Degree in Traditional and Islamic Arts at the Prince's Foundation School of Traditional Arts. In 2018 Ayesha received her ijaza (traditional apprenticeship) in this beautiful craft under the renowned Turkish Master Illuminator, Ayten Tiryaki.
Bink Hallum is Arabic Scientific Manuscript Curator at the British Library where he scopes and catalogues manuscripts for inclusion in the Qatar Digital Library. He is also Research Fellow in the Department of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Warwick where he is editing and translating a tenth-century Arabic encyclopaedia of alchemy. His doctoral studies (Warburg Institute, 2008) focused on the transmission of Greek alchemical literature into Arabic. He works in the field of the history of ideas, with special interests in the history of science, medicine and magic, transmission of knowledge, historical scholarly networks, philology, Islamic codicology and palaeography.
Ada Romero Sanchez
Ada Romero Sanchez graduated in Oriental Studies, Arabic Philology, and Andalusian History from the University of Granada in 2003. She specialized in Conservation of Arabic Andalusian Manuscripts and completed a master's degree in Arabic Cultures. Currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Language, Texts, and Contexts at the same university.
Ada surveyed various manuscript collections worldwide, including the Fondo Kati in Timbuktu and at-risk private collections in West Africa and Spain. From 2008 to 2014, she directed the Thesaurus Islamicus Foundation and the Dar al-Kutub al-Masriyya Manuscript Project in Cairo. This project aimed to protect the nearly 60,000 Islamic Manuscripts at Dar al-Kutub al-Masriyyah, the largest collection in the Arabic World. She oversaw the development of the Manuscript Department and the Dar al-Kutub's Museum.
In Cairo, Ada played a vital role in including the Mamluk Qur'an manuscript collection of the National Library of Egypt in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register in 2013. From 2017 to 2020, she worked at Qatar National Library, responsible for special collections and exhibitions. She recently led the Heritage Collection Permanent Exhibition for the library's official opening at Qatar Foundation's Education City.
Ada is currently in charge of the Manuscripts and Research Department at the Faculty of Andalusian Studies in Granada.
Fascinated since childhood with pattern, art and mathematics, Daud found his vocation studying with Keith Critchlow and Paul Marchant at the VITA department of the Prince’s School of Architecture. Since then, he has continued to work with the ornamental arts of Islam, especially geometric pattern.
Joumana Medlej is an artist from Lebanon whose connection with early Arabic calligraphy was awakened by years spent working with master calligrapher Samir Sayegh in his Beirut studio. She specialises in the Kufi scripts, roughly corresponding to the Abbasid era, and in the materials of the time, having abandoned store-bought paints for the old ways of natural colour-making. She studies both scripts and art technology directly from primary sources, and is now drawing on her practitioner’s experience to translate medieval Arabic manuals and bring the voices of past masters to a general audience. She has authored two handbooks on her own on historical and foraged art materials. Joumana works out of her Hackney studio and has pieces in private and public collections from California to the Middle East. She started teaching Kufi calligraphy at the Arab British Centre in 2014 and courses at the PSTA in 2022.
Katya Nosyreva, PhD, is a ceramicist, visual artist, and geometer. Living with her family on Dartmoor, UK, she works with porcelain clay and the visual and symbolic language of sacred geometry. Katya’s PhD research (Prince's School of Traditional Arts, 2013) combined her studio practice with geometry. She designed and made an architectural space for a Sufi centre in Delhi, India. This work explored the practice of traditional craft within contemporary Sufism.
Dr Lisa DeLong completed her doctoral studies at the School in 2007 investigating the principles of geometric design in Islamic and Western traditions. She is the author of Curves: Flowers, Foliates and Flourishes in the Formal Decorative Arts. An avid painter, Lisa is also Outreach Programme Manager for the School, designing and conducting educational workshops internationally.
Who is this course for?
All levels of ability and experience are welcome. You must be aged 18 or over to participate in our programmes.
How many people can attend?
20 places are available
What materials do I need?
Wear comfortable clothing that you do not mind getting slightly messy. Avoid wearing baggy clothing (especially sleeves), loose jewellery, high heels or open-toed shoes.
Where will this course take place?
At The Prince's Foundation School of Traditional Arts, 19-22 Charlotte Road, London EC2A 3SG
Do you offer concessions?
Please note concessions are not applicable to this course.
Terms & Conditions
The School reserves the right to discontinue or suspend a Course up to fourteen (14) calendar days before the advertised start date of the Course. This course requires a minimum number of enrollments to run.
Our normal terms and conditions apply.