Amin Gulgee

Looking for the Magic Center By Amin Gulgee

The centre is always hidden inasmuch as our point of origin, as it appears on the page, when investigated closely constitutes in itself a field or domain, the centre of which will continually elude ‘placing’ in the strictest physical terms. Even the most elementary particles of the atomic nucleus surround an unmanifest centre. For practical purposes, however, we place the still point of our compasses on the centre and move the other to inscribe an arc.

So states Keith Critchlow in his book Islamic Patterns, when describing the point of origin. This point of origin, when extended, creates a line which, by its arc, becomes the diameter of a circle. By extending the circle by its diameter, geometric pattern can be created.

What intrigued me about Mr. Critchlow’s book was his concept of the point of origin. As he writes, “The nature of origins or the creation point of a subject is grounded in mystery. The nature of a point - the simple self-evident origin of geometry - is one such mystery: is it possible that a point ‘has no dimension’, except that it be a metaphysical point, and how can it occupy ‘place’ if space has not yet been created from its unfolding?”

Thus, according to Mr. Critchlow, the point of origin eludes definition, and yet is necessary to establish when creating pattern. This idea finds a strong resonance in my own art practice, not only because my work often deals with repetition and pattern, but because I have long wondered about the mysterious origin of any creative idea.

In making my sculpture, I do not sketch or draw the work. It is a fluid, intuitive process in which shapes appear in my mind and then are translated directly upon my material. It is a personal journey which in itself is wholly absorbing and highly charged. I know that there are no absolute answers in this search for the past and the future, only more questions. And even if the magic center remains unfathomable, the submission to the process continues.