Portraits of British Muslims
Zahir Rafiq is an artist from South Yorkshire. He specialises in contemporary Islamic art where he fuses traditional Islam motifs with western artistic styles. With this approach he sought to express not only a new way of looking at Islamic art, but also his own identity as someone being brought up as a Muslim in Britain.
He has worked with organisations such as South Yorkshire Police to produce artwork for a poster campaign and also participated in a national exhibition for Islamic Awareness Week, on the theme of “Your Muslim Neighbour”. He believes art can be used to increase tolerance and understanding between people from different cultural backgrounds. This was evident when he worked in partnership with the Rotherham Tourist Initiative to hold the first exhibition of Islamic art within a Christian Church at All Saints in Rotherham shortly after the events of 9/11.
Zahir is currently working with Sheffield University exploring the theme of British Muslim identity trough portraiture as part of the Imagine Better Futures Project. He will paint subjects that depict the present day British Muslim community as well, challenging misconceptions and exploring generational differences.
14th March – 20th May 2016, 9.00am – 6.00pm weekdays
Venue: First Floor, Creative Edge (building 26 on the campus map) at Edge Hill University (Directions).
This date is part of a wider programme of events taking place at Edge Hill over the next couple of months as part of the Festival of Ideas 2016, a diverse range of events exploring culture, health and society. The main theme is Imagining Better – envisioning ways for communities, arts and healthcare to develop and flourish, even in times of austerity and inequality. Read more about the Festival of Ideas here.