Gillian Turnham emerged from NSCAD in 2007 as a fine-metalsmith. She refined and expanded her practice in the period that followed, working with wood, stone and hand-pierced metal to create miniature sculptural works that investigated elements of structure and traditional pattern. Building on her interest in traditional ornamental design, her attention turned towards tessellating geometric patterns. Since 2019 Turnham’s work has explored ever more complex patterns from the Islamic tradition. She has received training and mentorship from some of the world’s premiere educators in Islamic geometric design. Her most recent work transects geometric beauty with its underlying mathematical complexity, most notably in her ongoing ‘Geometric Deconstruction’ series, in which the underlying mathematical properties are revealed within the completed designs.

Gillian spent three years in southern Spain where she was immersed in the study of the Islamic geometric tradition, creating hand sewn tapestries, two-dimensional and three-dimensional commissioned works, as well as a series of mechanical clocks that incorporate traditional Islamic geometric patterns with other tessellating forms.

She continues her practice in Southern Ontario, with regular exhibitions, written articles, a radio series, geometric pattern workshops, and commissioned works in a variety of media.

©Gillian Turnham 2023