Faatimah Mohamed-Luke is a visual artist and designer based in Cape Town. In 2003 she graduated from Cape Technikon with ND: Fashion and also did a year of design encompassing Graphic, Interior, Industrial, Textile and Jewellery design disciplines. She is also a founding partner of the SA designer brand adam&eve. She has honed her entrepreneurial and artistic skills, having participated in fashion weeks and exhibitions for over a decade.
PHOTOGRAPHY: AL LUKE
Three years ago, she resigned from the fashion industry to focus on art and interior design. Her aim is to reintroduce the art form of tessellation in a thouroughly modern way, utilising plastic building blocks to create large scale artworks. She enjoys challenging the views of materiality and what constitutes an artistic medium, while elevating the humble children’s toy into a nostalgic visual feast. Faatimah’s chosen medium allows for a playfulness and accessibility within the artwork and a democratisation within the art world. Faatimah’s need to foster accessibility has led to numerous public installations, one of which won a Loerie award. She hopes to constantly blur the line between art and design as she evolves and grows on her journey through various creative avenues.
** We apologize for the error in the print edition. Fatimaah is represented by the WORLDART gallary
and has a up and coming solo show in March 2020.
“While on holiday in Morocco, 5 years ago, I fell in love with ornate, intricate abstract patterns. It was everywhere, every surface was painstakingly adorned to perfection. I loved how much pride the locals artists and artisans took in creating such beauty and how much its citizens and tourists appreciated it. It spoke to different parts of my heritage; African and Arab. It was the first time I had witnessed parts of my heritage living together so gracefully.”
This is where I discovered the art of Tessellation i.e. a highly symmetric, edge-to-edge tiling using a simple porcelain shape. The porcelain tile used to create mosaics didn’t really resonate with me, so I looked to a more unusual basic shape. Playing with my little human, lead me to Lego and eventually to a locally manufactured block which could be made in specific tones just for me. My hope is to highlight and recreate the art form of tessellation in a modern way using plastic building blocks.
In my work, I have championed the little building block, as my chosen art medium. I’ve created landscapes, portraits, and many abstracts, as one would with any other art medium. What I love most about it, is that it is a non traditional art medium and comes with no expectations but it has its own unique set of challenges. I believe that challenging an already established environment and challenging society is an essential part of an artists work and this medium helps me to do that by starting the conversation, ‘But is it art’. I also hope that my ability to exhibit and make a living from my art allows others the freedom and courage to experiment with new media.
For this work, deCOLOURnise is a play on the idea of decolonizing black and white spaces. As with the intention of decolonizing, one needs to unlearn the many untruths that we are taught during our formal education. We need to replace it with the other education we are all taught. Our knowledge that has been excluded, that comes from a different source. Knowledge taught through storytelling and narratives that have passed through lineages over centuries. Knowledge that takes the form of a visual language, present around us in everyday items and ceremonial traditions. Knowledge that is older and can still be proven as truth.
The addition of this ancient knowledge comes in the form of pattern and symbolism. Within these pieces, the symbols have been deconstructed so that we may relearn and examine the meanings and messages behind each symbol and colour combination. Within the pattern I have added relief segments, to create an open-ness and open-mindedness between our cultures. My hope is that in sharing and learning our newfound collective knowledge, we will create a rich and more accurate global history. This understanding of the past and present should ultimately create an admiration and respect for our uniqueness.