ISLAMIC art techniques were used to create striking patterns and provoke feelings of accomplishment among the artists.

Lateefa Spiker, a founding member of the educational Art of Islamic Pattern collective, spent the day with young carers, looked-after children, refugees and low-income families at Colchester Arts Centre.

The project was funded by the Arts Society Colchester and saw Lateefa pass on the same magic of geometric pattern that she learnt studying at the Prince’s School of Traditional Arts, in London.


 Florencia Steed, nine, practises having a steady hand

The artist and designer said: “Working with the simple tools of compass and ruler to create such complex and beautiful designs brings the student a wonderful feeling of accomplishment.

“When the students bring their tiles together to create a larger pattern, there is a feeling of belonging and togetherness.

“Working with Islamic pattern can give a strong sense of identity for those who are refugees from Islamic countries.”


Abdo Sallouta, ten, smiles at work

As well as mapping out their shapes, some of the group transformed clay into tiles which Lateefa calls a “wonderfully healing medium”.