Using creative coding to recreate the work of South Asian Womxn Artists
Am happy to share a selection of my project sketches from the wonderful workshop series by computational_mama. These were efforts to recreate art from Rana Begum, Nasreen Mohamedi, Zarina Hashmi, Ayesha Jatoi and Ranjani Shettar1
1. Rana Begum
I followed the artist Rana Begum on Instagram after seeing her work at the Regent’s Park Frieze sculpture garden in 2018. I love what she does with colour and light and simple shapes. That was a time I was also browsing through The Interaction of Color by Josef Albers. When I saw how Computational Mama recreated Begum’s art in 3d, I was really interested when I also saw that she offered a workshop on p5js, I decided to sign up. Below is my animated digital recreation of Rana Begum’s No. 947 Wall Drawing, 2019.(Paint on wall. 400 x 400cm.)2
2. Nasreen Mohamedi
Organized chronologically throughout the Met Breuer’s second floor, Mohamedi’s artworks vaguely match the gray concrete floors and walls of the high-modernist building. One room, significantly brighter due to a window emitting natural light, displays a large series of circular drawings on graph paper from the 1980s. Meanwhile, custom-built glass-topped cases dotting the floor contain Mohamedi’s journals, in which one can observe her poetry-like diary entries.
The journals are, in fact, pocket calendars that Mohamedi had carried around on a daily basis. Here, viewers are finally presented with works coming from a more emotive place, as Mohamedi had written these diary entries every day throughout her career. Interestingly, these journals were heavily edited by Mohamedi, who blacked out certain thoughts and words in ink, creating grid-like patterns inside the already gridded calendars. They are works of pure visual poetry that artfully guide our eyes and mind to skip over what she wished to omit.
At first I wanted to replicate the book cover with the lines but it was just too hard to get right. So I used a detail from a sketch in Nasreen’s diary. (It was going to be the whole image but I didn’t have enough time.) For the animated bits—the yellow stripes— I drew the shapes, instead of lines, following a previous exercise from the p5 book which used the beginShape function.
3. Zarina Hashmi
This was a great way to learn functions. Was looking to see if I could one day see any Zarina Hashmi art in the Tate and am glad to learn online that her work is in their collections:
Letters from Home draws on a range of sources, from Hashmi’s childhood home in pre-partition India to her sojourns across the world. The portfolio functions as a series of maps that trace the artist’s journeys and record the places in which she has lived. Working with actual geographical locations, Hashmi acts as cartographer, preserving communication from her sister within the sites of her own memories. Homes, floor plans and routes are printed onto the letters, presenting Hashmi’s life as an atlas, one that is both a universal document and a record of personal experience.
While functioning as an inventory of Hashmi’s life experiences, Letters from Home also serves as a poignant reminder of her dislocated status. It reveals her experience of being distanced from home and loved ones, and functions as a diary of the activities of the family she left behind. – Tate Modern
4. Ayesha Jatoi
Ayesha Jatoi was trained as a Miniature painter at the National College of the Arts in Lahore (Pakistan) and as a photographer at the National College of the Arts in Lahore.…Her practice primarily explores the traditional manuscript’s symbiotic relationship between the image and text and the spatial division of these “illuminated pages”.
Below is a screenshot of original artwork on artsy.net Places & Total (2016)
a] diptych…where the terrorists targets and total number of deaths are also stamped on paper.
Above is a version I made with randomised text from an array with a 0.25 fps rate using the Source Sans Pro Google font.
5. Ranjani Shattar
1 We also studied the work of the artist Sheba Chhachhi but I didn’t include my output in that module as I wasn’t too sure it captured the distinctiveness of her art or methods.
2 It wasn’t hard to get the colour values but am not too happy about my primitive line by line coding here. I wanted to apply the map function to animate the colours but that’s pretty hard to get right if I wanted to stick to the specific colours. Am sure I can improve the code in due course.
I thought I knew a bit about colour but HSB mode is a whole new dimension for me. I finally cracked open my Generative Design book which tackles this and studied some of the art and code, all available online. Their first chapter deals on colour and am going to soak it all in when am done with the overview of all these processes.