Artist Jonathan Sims.

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The Unfixed Stars (2018)

LED lamps, Laser-etched acrylic, Magnifying lenses, Dichroic acrylic, Wood
40 x 40 x 15 inches
Sharjah Art Museum, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates 

The Unfixed Stars was installed for the 21st Sharjah Islamic Arts Festival in Sharjah, UAE in December, 2018. Twelve analog lamps illuminate laser-etched images of historic Islamic designs. These images are focused by magnifying lenses, then projected through and reflected by dichroic acrylic, which provide all coloration.

All of the designs from "The Unfixed Stars" are digital recreations of authentic Islamic designs that can still be found around the world, as far west as Andalusia and as far east as India, as early as the first century after the Prophet, and as recently at the 18th Century. Because the artist himself is not an adherent to Islam, the sculpture and the projections were conceived as an homage to the generally nameless and forgotten designers, architects, illustrators, and craftsmen who created them. A reference sheet was included with the exhibition so that viewers could also learn about these radiant designs.

The central motifs are from the sites themselves, and the lighter lines are the interpretation of the artist of either the underlying geometric forms, or extrapolations from the linework contained in the original--an illustration of the process that the artist undertook to engage with, and learn from, these incredible artists.