As a book artist, I am drawn to the unique and versatile nature of the book form. Whether old or new, the book has always captured my imagination and challenged me to explore its physical properties and content in new and innovative ways.
Through my work, I use book art to reflect on our contemporary time and explore the intersections between past and present. Books have a rich legacy in approaching social justice issues and giving voice to marginalized groups, and I strive to create books that promote empathy and belonging.
The traditions and history of bookbinding inspire my artistic practice, and I am constantly exploring new ways to incorporate these techniques into contemporary book forms and ideas. I am passionate about studying the construction, materials, and techniques used in traditional bookbinding. I frequently experiment with laser cutting, waxing, stitching, and paper dyeing to create visually stunning and conceptually complex artworks.
Ultimately, my goal as a book artist is to push the boundaries of contemporary book art while remaining true to the rich legacy and traditions of the book form. I am constantly engaged in the process of discovery and learning. I am deeply committed to creating artwork reflecting our collective past while promoting a more just and equitable future.
Islam is a book artist and lecturer of Design at Helwan University’s College of Art Education. His journey began with a Bachelor’s degree in Art Education, followed by a Master’s from the same university. He continued his academic journey, and earned an MFA in Book Arts and Ph.D. in Teaching and Learning with a concentration in Art Education, from the University of Iowa.
Islam’s education and artistic training at the University of Iowa were integral in shaping his unique approach to creating artist books. He skillfully combines historical bookbinding techniques with digital technologies, creating a distinct blend of traditional and modern book art.
Islam’s artistic practice explores the relationship between traditional and modern technologies and their application in book art. His work draws heavily on Arabic typography and Islamic geometry, inspired by the historical study of printmaking, book structures, and papermaking. He also questions methods of defining the book form and its cultural references, making his art a medium for addressing social justice, identity, immigration, and displacement.
Islam Aly’s Website