Abu Dhabi

Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. Photo © IFF Archives.

IFF Director Margaret Wertheim has just returned from an exploratory trip to Abu Dhabi where discussions are underway about the possibility of doing a Satellite Reef of our Crochet Coral Reef project in the United Arab Emirates. Islamic culture has had a long and deep engagement with mathematical tessellation patterns, which traditional artisans realize in a vast array of media, from terra-cotta mosaics to relief carved marble and exquisitely detailed inlaid stone-work. Here in the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Islamic engagement with tessellations is magnificently on display. This is one of the mosque’s 82 domes, the foremost of which are adorned with some of the world’s largest  and most intricate chandeliers. Islamic tessellations are featured in the IFF’s current Making Space exhibition, which has mathematical tilings as one of its core themes.