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5 (and a bit) Questions with… Zarah Hussain

09 January 2018 | Amal Team

It is important to me that the breadth, sophistication and creativity of the Islamic world is not ignored. That is my cultural heritage and I seek to use this heritage in contemporary art.

Wood Street Walls collaborated with Walthamstow-based and internationally recognised artist Zarah Hussain for last year’s Pick Your Pattern project, supported by Amal. You can see the winning design and hear more from the project here.

1. Who are you and what do you do? 

My name is Zarah Hussain, and I am a Visual Artist. My work is based on mathematical patterns and geometry and I work in a variety of mediums including painting, sculpture and digital projection.

The Amal supported project I worked on was in collaboration with Wood Street Walls and it was to paint a mural in Walthamstow High Street. The design of the artwork was based on traditional geometry, but executed in a very contemporary way. It is important to me because, it is the area in which I live and it also has a long history of Muslims living in the area. Lastly. the mural project included workshops for children in local schools and I felt that this was important to engage young people.

2. Do you think an artist has a particular role or responsibility in the world?

I make work that aims to touch, move and inspire. I seek to make work that reflects my cultural heritage and history, as well as being relevant to the contemporary world that we live in.

3. How do you see your role?

I come from a working-class immigrant background. I hope that young people from Muslim communities look at me and think it is possible to make a career in the arts.

4. Does identity play a role in your creative craft, and if so how? 

It is important to me that the breadth, sophistication and creativity of the Islamic world is not ignored. That is my cultural heritage and I seek to use this heritage in contemporary art.

5. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given over the course of your career?

Don’t take rejection personally.

A bit more…Where’s your favourite place to see contemporary art?

I like to see the installations in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern.

 

 

The Othello Project Is Back

Since the relaunch of our grant applications, we’ve partnered up with English Touring Theatre (ETT) to bring back #TheOthelloProject.

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