MONIR SHAHROUDY FARMANFARMAIAN, Lightning for Neda, 2009
If you look closely at this glittering art work, you can see that amazing patterns are made up of particular shapes – mainly hexagons (6 sides) and triangles (3 sides). If you tried to count all the hexagons and triangles in this work you’d be here all week! These shapes have important meanings for the artist: in her country, Iran, where the most important religion is Islam, such patterns have been used for many hundreds of years to decorate holy buildings. Monir makes art using these small pieces of mirror and glass, a technique called ‘mosaic’. This technique began a long time ago, when large mirrors were imported to Iran. Some would arrive broken into many little pieces, and rather than wasting the fragments, people began to use them to decorate surfaces.