NAE Shows at Southbank Centre's Alchemy Festival
19 May 2017
New Art Exchange are proud to see our exhibitions My Granddad's Car by Karl Ohiri and Sayed Hasan and Paracosm by Faiza Butt, on display at Southbank Centre's Alchemy Festival.
From 19 - 29 May, Alchemy returns to Southbank Centre, showcasing the dynamic creativity and cultural connections between South Asia and the UK. The festival is a space for the innovative and curious, where artists and audiences can exchange ideas. Now in its eighth year, Alchemy has grown to become the largest festival inspired by South Asian culture outside of the subcontinent.
My Granddad's Car is the culmination of an ongoing project between two artists, Sayed Hasan and Karl Ohiri. Exploring notions of migration and heritage, as seen through their relationships with two cars inherited from their respective late grandfathers in Pakistan and Nigeria, this is an exhibition telling their story through photographs, films and objects. Facing bureaucracy and corruption, both artists were initially unable to transport their grandad's car home to the UK. The challenges they faced on their journeys have become a snapshot of those undertaken by their families and more universal migrant experiences across the globe. The exhibition was commissioned and supported by New Art Exchange.
Faiza Butt's exhibition Paracosm was commissioned by New Art Exchange with funding from Arts Council England, Strategic Touring. London-based artist Faiza Butt was born into a Kashmiri family who settled in Lahore, Pakistan. In her practice, Faiza addresses the anxieties of today's world: the loss of innocence, the prevalence of violence, inequality and the demoralisation of society. Text has emerged as a dominant force in Faiza's recent work. She observes that while 'today language divides us, originally characters were universal and could be read by anybody'. Through four large-scale light walls arranged in a cube-like formation, Paracosm alludes to the architecture and decoration of the Holy Kaaba, the building at the centre of Islam's most sacred mosque, Al-Masjid al-Haram in Mecca. Using decorative Kufic script, Faiza's work draws inspiration from a tradition of weaving verses in silk and lends a secular and personal dimension to the project. She has covered the exterior face of the four walls which the audience walk through with poems by Agha Shahid Ali – a fellow Kashmiri whose poem describes a yearning for home, and Faiz Ahmed Faiz – a four-time Nobel prize nominated poet from Pakistan. In the realisation of this work the artist reinforces the point that in any faith 'the most sacred notion to observe is humanity.'
More information about Southbank's Alchemy Festival: