A moment of symmetry

Among the many ideas stimulated while reading Ghost Empire was an 'a-ha' moment about Islamic art.

While I haven't seen much Islamic art, I've seen a lot via friends. One mate recently traveled to Iran and posted many pictures on Facebook of the insides of mosques. Another friend, Abre Ojos, uses geometry in his audiovisual work.

Richard Fidler writes:
There are no images of God, Muhammad or Muslims saints: Islam forbids the creation of such images. The visual allusions to Allah are purely abstract; tiles form swirling lines of Qur'anic text and complex geometric patterns, displaying the Islamic tradition of finding the sublime within calligraphy and mathematical perfection.
The idea of taking inspiration from one source and representing it within another medium appeals to me for many reasons. At times I've argued that that's an essence of art.

However, the idea of religious inspiration is somewhat foreign. My Quaker upbringing means I tend to look inward for spiritual guidance. I think I'm also somewhat meditative in my approach elsewhere, which is why the trance-like aspects of electronic music appeal to me.

A quick google on the subject of Islamic mosaics offers:
the repetition within many of the designs evokes the nature of God, with a small section of work mirroring the pattern of the whole piece. In the same way, a small part of God's creation on Earth reflects his divine and infinite nature.
I know it's a leap but for me the idea of pantheism is interesting. It's suggests that you can find the divine in the everyday as well as the exceptional. I guess there's a sense of finding the right outlook.

The sheer scale of mosque mosaics is incredible but their long history is also amazing:
By 1453, architects had started designing walls with perfectly overlapping quasicrystalline tiles. Quasicrystalline patterns never repeat, but are completely symmetrical. A dizzying example is on display at its medieval best at the Darb-i Imam shrine in Iran.
Western science couldn't describe the same pattern until the early 1970s, when English mathematician Roger Penrose introduced his famous "Penrose" tiling system. 
My 'a-ha' moment was seeing the creative constraint faced my Muslim artists wishing to represent the divine. In my music-making I've reveled in using a limitation as a springboard, particularly after reading an idea from Brian Eno that you need to establish parameters to focus on developing a piece of work.

Over the last four and a half years I've enjoyed the creative prompt offered by the Disquiet Junto, "an ongoing weekly collaborative music-making space in which restraints are used as a springboard for creativity."

Not to belittle the religion of Islam and it's long tradition of mosaic art but, while reading the quote from Fidler, I could understand it through my own experience.