Mariam Syed

2021 QEST Anthony and Elizabeth Mellows Charitable Settlement Scholar - Textile Design

Mariam is a weaver and designer, specialising in bespoke vibrant woven designs for scarves, rugs and fabrics for interiors. She first learned weaving from rural artisans in Pakistan, accompanied by formal training with a three-year weaving and textile design course at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, in Karachi. She emigrated to the UK shortly after and gained a BA (Honours) in Textile Design from the Glasgow School of Art. She has also worked with the British Council, twice visiting Chengdu and Xian, China to conduct research and document the craftsmen’s response to the Circular Economy policies introduced by the Chinese government. 

Geometry is central to Mariam’s designs and she embraces the challenge of transferring her geometric drawings onto woven fabric. A QEST Scholarship will enable her to further study the aesthetics of Islamic geometric patterns to incorporate into her weaving. The funding will support an MA at Glasgow University, as well as a course in Islamic Geometric Patterns at Alquería de Rosales, Granada, Spain. 

I am utterly fascinated with the magnificence of Islamic Art. The more I look at the geometric patterns, the more I can see and the more I am drawn towards them. I discovered weaving through my love for mathematics and what I find most intriguing about Islamic geometric patterns is the element of complexity and repetition: the eye travels around the pattern, never stopping on any one area which confirms the perfect harmony of the composition