British Contemporary Islamic Art – Zahir Rafiq
British Contemporary Islamic Art, explores the theme of British Muslim identity by expressing traditional Islamic motifs through Western art styles in portraiture, calligraphy and sculpture. The calligraphy work is influenced by the works of Cubist sculptors, Raymond Duchamp-Villon and Umberto Boccioni. The artists’ admiration for the way movement is expressed through shape and form has transferred into his own work, where he incorporates the flow of traditional Arabic calligraphy.
Zahir Rafiq is an artist from Rotherham, South Yorkshire who explores the subject of Islam in Britain using a variety of media including: oil paint, sculpture and digital. His work seeks to express not only a new way of looking at Islamic art, but also his own identity as someone who was brought up as a Muslim in a secular British society. Zahir’s work also explores the ambiguities of faith, he produces pieces which fragment Islamic text to reflect the fragility that can exist in religion. He describes his exhibition as bringing the components of his pieces to a stage where they are barely legible, their meaning obscured, in the hope that the viewer can reconstruct their own meaning and rediscover their own faith from the bare bones.
Further details about Festival of Ideas 2017 can be found here