About the Artist

Gillian Turnham graduated from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 2007 as a fine-metal sculptural artist. She refined and expanded her practice in the period that followed, working with wood and stone as well as hand-pierced metal, creating miniature sculptural works that investigated elements of structure and traditional pattern.
Building on these interests, her attention turned towards tessellating geometric designs, and in 2014, her work took a decisive turn towards the complex geometric patterns of the Islamic tradition.

Since 2017 Turnham’s work has explored ever more diverse patterns from this tradition. Her most recent work transects geometric beauty with its underlying mathematical complexity, most notably in her ‘Geometric Deconstruction’ series, in which the underlying mathematical properties are revealed within the completed designs.

She has recently returned to Canada after three years in southern Spain, where she was immersed in the study of the Islamic geometric tradition, creating hand sewn tapestries, original drawings, as well as designing a new series of mechanical clocks (2021) that incorporate traditional Islamic geometric patterns with other tessellating forms.

She continues her practice in Canada with her husband and 3 year old son. 

Artist at work