At first glance, the patterns look like intricate and beautiful lacework or grillwork. However, it is none of these; it is a happy mix of contemporary art, design, and engineering that appear so alluring that you can gaze at it mesmerized for hours! Its creators are Julia Ibbini, a visual artist who has dabbled in graphics and collage, and Stephane Noyer, a computer scientist passionate about computational geometry.
The result of this collaboration was the Ibbini Studio which creates pieces of exquisite intricacy and beauty the likes of which are probably found in the stonework of yesteryear skilled artisans of temples and monuments. The one-of-a-kind transparent and translucent artwork is highly intricate and of extreme precision.
The duo uses an algorithm to create defined patterns that are replicated throughout each work. Like organic structures, they use parametric design software to create 3D patterns. The algorithms used augment hand-drawn designs. The resulting visual complexity is attained using the repetition of simple motifs, detailed geometric constructions, and ornamental details. Once the final shape is achieved the same is reproduced on paper, card, or wood. Using a high-precision machine these patterns are then laser-cut or printed in 3D. These are then glued together by hand to create unique pieces.
The duo mainly uses archival paper and veneer woods as materials for their artwork. This is because of their delicate and tactile qualities. By means of a complex collaging method, these materials are layered and meshed together. It may surprise you that some of the works contain thousands of individual parts. Little wonder some creations take up to six months to complete!
Ibbini of Jordanian-British descent, who had made UAE her home for a major part of her life, met Noyer, a Frenchman, who had moved to UAE. Once they met, they started collaborating, creating works of art both by hand and machine, using analog and digital techniques.
Ibbini states on thecolossal.com, “My practice focuses greatly on exploring the boundaries of what is possible with the materials and techniques used. In 2021, there was a significant jump in the complexity and technology we were working with, and I think the pieces produced over this period very much reflect that.”
Their works have received many awards and honors, and have been displayed in numerous art festivals, such as Sharjah Islamic Arts Festival, Art Basel Miami, LA Art Fair, Tashkeel Dubai, and 21, 39 Jeddah Arts.
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