One glimpse at the images of the Intersections installation by Anila Quayyum Agha for the ArtPrize Exhibition and it is clear why this stunning piece won both the Jury and Public Grand Prize awards at the Grand Rapids Art Museum in Michigan. Lit entirely from a single bulb, the laser-cut square cube stands in the centre of the room, illuminating the entire space with gracious and intricate patterns.
Pakistani multi-disciplinary artist Anila Quayyum Agha uses her artwork to express cultural and political issues effecting herself and her background. The Intersections installation is representative of the type of challenging concepts her work unfolds. Created in 2013, Agha’s piece has been inspired from Islamic geometric shapes and patterns used ideally in sacred and religious places. The piece represents her past growing up in Pakistan and the relationship between space and the exclusions she felt combined with a sense of curiosity.
Her experiments stem from a visit to the Islamic Palaces of Alhambra where unlike elsewhere, Islamic and Western discourse were permitted and openly took place forming a bonding of two worlds and ideals. The patterns, laser-cut into the dark wood creates an imposing yet rhythmic atmosphere within the space as the shadows from the single bulb illuminate the room. A play on the use of light and shadow, the curiosities created by this piece really pushes the visual boundaries of architecture and culture.
(Image Credit: Anila Quayyum Agha)