By Ismaeel Yaqoob & Lilli Oevermann.
Geometry is a subject that has always had a peculiar form. Entirely attached to the discipline of mathematics but in so many ways in a realm of its own. This is because, in many ways, we have always been more excited by the prospect of shapes than algebra and calculus. For me, it was the math lessons in which the teacher would take out the magic box of 2D and 3D shapes that we would organise into polygons and quadrilaterals. Though I have sometimes found comfort in irregular shapes, obtuse angles, and even dashed or bendy lines, there has always been a familiarity and accord with four-sided shapes. I mean, they were the easiest to calculate perimeter and area, plus all that is required for an accurate sketch is a ruler and pencil. Not just that but there is something so harmonious about the equilibrium of four right angles- its almost seductive symmetry. These shapes have come to dominate our concept of space, our doors, our houses, our flags, our tables, our beds.
Now, within the confines of our many groupings, there is seemingly an abundance of four straight lines. These denote certain bonds that, for me, are generally familiarity, interest, enjoyment, and convenience. Now, when it comes to drawing them together, it is quite easy to conclude that there in its entirety exists a perfect grouping, one that we can escape to and attribute a sense of belonging. Though it is imperative to consider the addition of ‘diagonals,’ whereby we are willing to compromise and seek only two of the four bonds. Corners at a diagonal, instead of those parallel, are not used to meeting each other, however it is through these ventures that, in my opinion, we form our most profound memories. The off-beaten path of relationships can often be synonymous with boredom or isolation, however it is in so many ways an integral part of how we do the act of being human.
I draw four-sided shapes. More often than once but mostly four-sided. Within the borders of these newly formed relationships are, of course, something beautiful, but their lack of irregularity and relative succinctness no doubt closes off many possibilities. My few, but so very fruitful, ventures can be connected to the times I disobeyed the formula. It is with this thought that I am going to make a conscious effort to stop drawing so many four sided shapes, ditch the parallels, explore the diagonals and maybe even experiment with an irregular shape.