A central piece of a room is generally designed to turn the attention of the viewer towards its elaborate bearing. However, artist Anila Quayyum Agha has a brilliant new notion for interior decor – and much of it has to do with the scope of collective elegance. To that end, we come across the designer’s utterly innovative and intricate ‘Intersections’, a central sculptural piece that has its wondrous effect on empty spaces!
In terms of design, the Intersections is crafted from black lacquer wood that has been shaped into an intricate square by laser-cutting tech. The geometrical patterns from the center of these facades (mainly withing the circular scope) are inspired by sacred Islamic places like mosques. On the other hand, the edge-based wooden frieze impressions are influenced by the high levels of workmanship left by the Moors in the grand fortress complex of Alhambra, in Spain. There is a symbolic side to this adaptation, as according to the designer, Medieval Spain was one of those very few places where Islamic and Western cultures met and co-existed in harmony. This fascinating episode from history is what she poetically terms as “a testament to the symbiosis of difference.”
Of course, the Intersections suspended in itself will just pose as a beautiful object of decor. However, when one places a light source (like a bulb) inside the perforated square, the essence of collective elegance is brought forth in the viewer’s attention. This is because the central piece then goes beyond its physical boundary, to project its sophisticated yet enchanting motifs on to the walls of the room. This transforms the decorative quality of a room, by altering its plain-painted facades into canvases of profound workmanship and art – all achieved by mere shadows. By Agha’s own words –
My goal is to explore the binaries of public and private, light and shadow, and static and dynamic by relying on the purity and inner symmetry of geometric design, and the interpretation of the cast shadows.
This extravagant ‘play of light and shadow’ has surely enticed many at the sixth annual international ArtPrize competition. This is evident because the Intersections broke a record by being the only design in the competition’s history that won both the jury and public grand prizes. Currently, the central art piece is kept suspended inside the Art Museum of Grand Rapids, Michigan – which sort of once again harks back to the confluence of Eastern art and Western setting, in spite of their presumed differences.