The artists created over 130 animated tiles by choreographing and recording the movement of individuals in the communities of Ardnamurchan, Scotland and reducing the clips to near-abstract shapes and sounds. The interactive, digital mosaic is inspired by Zillij, a form of patterned Moroccan tilework.
Between July and September 2004 Simon Fildes was New Dynamics Artist in Residence in the dispersed communities of Ardnamurchan. Whilst staying there the award-winning video-maker Katrina McPherson worked along side Simon to create a new work for the funding scheme "Alt-W" called 'Ardnamurchan Zillij'.
The artists created a collaborative work with individuals from the geographically diverse groups in Ardnamurchan . They built up a bank of over 130 digital tiles based on looping moving images. The interface allows a user to select tiles and design a constantly moving colourful mosaic of small video and audio clips. The tiles were created by designing, choreographing and videoing the movement of individuals in the communities of Ardnamurchan and the environment around them, and reducing the clips to near abstract shapes and sounds .
The idea to create an interactive moving digital mosaic was inspired by the artists fascination with Islamic Moroccan tradition which relies on geometry and endless repetition as an outlet for expression using shapes called fourmah to create intricate patterns, Zillij. Katrina and Simon were interested in exploring some interesting cultural parallels in this non representational form of art with the west coast of Scotland.