In late January 2019, 17 people filed into a brightly lit room on the third floor of the Rangoonwalacentre, armed with their drawing pads and compasses.We were a diverse bunch, some young, some old, all from different professional and educational backgrounds -but one common threadbound us together: our love for the arts of the Islamic World. Together, we constituted the pioneering class of the diploma program on offer at the VM Centre for Traditional Arts-a collaboration between VmRangoonwallaand the Prince’s School of Traditional Arts in London. Our collective yearlong journey was an incredible experience of wonder and experimentation. Together, we made paint from rocks and jewels and dye from flowers and plants. We tied knots around cloth and dipped it in indigo. We gazed in amazement as our teachers expertly manipulated lines and circles and the beautiful patterns of the art and architecture of our Mughalancestors magically emerged. We laughed together , we cried together, we broke bread together -we became a family. It has been an unforgettable journey of joy and love and learning -one that continues as we collaborate on projects and continue to learn from each other.The work in this exhibition is a glimpseinto some of what the 2019 graduates of the VMCTAhave been playing around with in these times of isolation.

Sana Habib