Aphra Shemza – Sustainable Geometry, 2022

Commissioned by MKIAC

In collaboration with Shenley Brook End School

Programming by Jamie Howard

Dimensions: 210(h) x 215(w) x 30(d)cms

Material: Recycled polypropylene created by students in workshop with the artist, recycled Green Cast acrylic, LED and bespoke sound reactive circuit.

Sustainable Geometry was created by Aphra Shemza in collaboration with students from Shenley Brook End school. It combines the artist’s knowledge of sustainable design and the practice of co-creation to create a dynamic and interactive light artwork. 

Over the course of two days, students from Shenley Brook End school took part in plastic recycling workshops with the artist. In the workshops, they learned how to turn recycled plastic waste into sheet material and each created one of the tiles that make up the Islamic rosette of the sculpture.

The artwork was commissioned by the Milton Keynes Islamic Arts and Culture charity and the geometry used was inspired by the organisation. The Islamic rosette comes from the Mamluk Koran from Damascus, Syria created in 1338 AD. It represents our connection to one another, nature and the divine. By using this geometry in relationship with recycled plastic and co-creation the artist further highlights these ideas of connection and the need for looking after the planet.

The sculpture itself is sound-reactive. It uses a microphone to collect sound data and then converts the data into a light animation. The work responds to the sound that a viewer creates and also reacts to live or recorded music, changing over time creating a dynamic effect. It is immediately engaging to a viewer as there is a direct relationship to the sound they are making and the lighting of the pieces creating an instant and playful connection between the viewer and the artwork. Sustainable Geometry asks the viewer to contemplate their relationship to artwork itself and also the world around them and our responsibility to look after it.

Sustainable Geometry – Photography by David Wilman
Aphra Shemza and Sustainable Geometry – Photography by David Wilman