Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall to attend Islamic art workshops at UBD
By Lyna Mohamad

The Prince' s School of Traditional Arts have sent out two Alumni, Amber Khokar and Helen White, to facilitate the Islimi/Arabesque workshops in Brunei, in collaboration with the Brunei High Commission and Universiti Brunei Darussalam.

The visit of His Royal Highnesses the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall to the university today will see tutors demonstrating the workshop with the participation of selected students from the previous workshops.

Both tutors have taught two classes a day over four days, which was held from Oct 27-30, tutoring students aged between 16 to 18 years old.

During the workshops, students were introduced to the language of motifs as described in the arts and crafts of the Ottoman Turks such as Penc, Hatayi and Rumi.

These motifs, with their particular cultural nuances, are found throughout the Muslim world and are still being applied to a variety of mediums today. Students were shown how they can create their own motifs by using drawings taken from nature that are stylised and developed using basic geometry, which then the students use a combination of motifs to paint a composition using traditional painting techniques.

Amber Khokar graduated from PSTA with an MA Degree in 2005 having specialised in floral motifs, ceramics, textiles and paper, and has done commission works that include a carpet at Buckingham Palace, cards for Highgrove, interiors for Rolls Royce, as well as took part in teaching workshops with the Shakespeare Globe and Islamia School, and demonstrating her work at the Hague. She is strongly influenced by Islamic Arts, as she has exhibited world wide, including in Washington, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia.

Meanwhile, Helen White is a designer and illuminator who gained a distinction for her Masters at PSTA in 2007, after originally training in calligraphy, illumination and heraldry at the Reigate School of Art.

She has exhibited at mall galleries and Art in Action, worked on commissions with Traditional Arts Ltd, and has a piece of work exhibited at Windsor Castle this year, as part of the Prince's birthday celebrations. - Borneo Bulletin (1st Nov 2008)