ReSIA: The Use of Wood in Islamic Interiors

Key information

6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Online via Zoom

About this event

Speakers: Anna McSweeney and Mariam Rosser-Owen

This research paper will consider the role and use of wood in Islamic interiors. This work-in-progress springs from research conducted during our BA/Leverhulme funded project Crafting Medieval Spain: the Torrijos Ceilings in the Global Museum (April 2021-2023), which examines four monumental wooden ceilings made in the 1490s for the (destroyed) Torrijos palace in Spain.

One of the key knowledge gaps we have encountered in our study of the ceilings has been in the use of wood in architecture and furniture, particularly in Islamic contexts in north Africa and in cross-cultural contexts in the Iberian peninsula. Questions of material sources and properties, craftsmanship, regional practices, trade, value and exchange remain largely unanswered. The extent to which wood was used in ceilings in North Africa, and the mobility of techniques and practices between Muslim and Christian contexts in medieval Spain, are some of the questions that we will consider. Exploring the potential for expanding our current study of the Torrijos ceilings to look more widely at wood in Islamic interiors, we hope this research paper will stimulate new interdisciplinary conversations and elicit useful feedback to guide us in developing the parameters for this new project.

The Research Seminar in Islamic Art (ReSIA) is convened by Professor Anna Contadini.