Beauty of Abstraction by Zarah Hussain
A new body of work which re-imagines the deeply profound beauty of Islamic geometric forms in a contemporary way. Geometry is a visual gateway for understanding the nature of the abstract - it is the bridge from the material world to the spiritual world. This show uses painting and light installation to enable the viewer to transcend the reality of everyday life.
By Zarah Hussain, following on from her successful first exhibition Handasah.
Hussain is a British born Pakistani. An MA graduate of the VITA programme, at the Princes Foundation, in London, where she was instructed in the traditional techniques, found in Sacred Art. A practising Muslim, she has studied the roots and history of Islamic artistic expression, from the classical period as well as its theological and spiritual symbolism. While there is fierce and robust debate about the nature and role of art within Muslim societies and cultures, Zarah's work is centredon Geometry - one of the sacred forms of expression, along with Calligraphy and Islimi (arabesques) in Islam. The practice and execution of geometry, through zilij tile work, or wood inlay and metalwork, can be found all over the Muslim world from the Universities of Fez, to the railings of the Taj Mahal.
Her first exhibition was intimate and delicate, subtle colours and small in scale. Hussain executed these geometries as subtle watercolours, drawing the viewer to their deep underlying spirituality and meditative effect. Recent travels across the Islamic world have inspired experiments with bolder and more contemporary colours painted on large scale canvases. These canvases expand the traditional craft based approach towards geometry into paintings engaging geometry as contemporary fine art, with a universal appeal. Further expansion of this concept is with the light installation, which begins to open up the possibilities producing geometry for the digital age. The installation features a geometrical pattern that repeats and unfolds out and then back again into itself.
The effect on the viewer is amazing, as if one is being drawn out of oneself to a higher plane.
The work in this exhibition communicates on many different levels, conveying a sense of balance and harmony. It is expected that viewers are able to lose themselves in ever repeating patterns. Through its scale, the minute becomes infinite, and the individual is connected to the whole - a central message in Islamic spirituality.
Available from 15 January 2007 until the end of 2009.
Hirer responsible for insurance value of £37,534 from receipt to return.
30 Metres running wall space.
Sonja Kielty, Exhibitions Officer, Cartwright Hall Art Gallery, Lister Park, Bradford BD9 4NS. tel 01274 436027 fax 01274 481045 email firstname.lastname@example.org
11 painted canvases (acrylic) to be mounted on wall with mirror plates (not supplied); labels mounted onto foam board; A0 size text panel (full colour), mounted onto foam board; 1x DVD of animation. Preview invitation card design provided. Full colour brochure for sale in gallery shop.
Venue to provide
- Onward transport (or return to Cartwright Hall Art Gallery).
- Replacement packing materials.
- Gallery warding.
- Attendance figures
- Education programme and press/media coverage.
- All AV equipment (DVD player, amp, 4 speakers, projector, screen or television and DVD player.
£1,500 for eight week period, longer/shorter by negotiation.
Fee includes one way transport. Hirer to return or transport to next venue.