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Painting – In the Spotlight 300
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“We can only talk about the way a painting is done, as there are no statements, at least none that I know of, that could define art in a comprehensive manner. What was defined as art fifty years ago is very much different to what we call art today.” – Babak Roshaninejad

Babak Roshaninejad is a self-taught painter from Hamedan in north western Iran. Hamadan is the oldest city in Iran and said to be one of the oldest cities in the world. In keeping with his own heritage, Roshaninejad’s work is rooted around his concerns with history and social philosophy.
His paintings have a strong graphic influence and use colour in a minimalist way. Each study, be it still life or portraiture, offers a similar simplicity alongside strong outlines. Roshaninejad has been described as a painter of the mundane. The starkness and restraint of his imagery serves not only to reflect his unique style but his feelings about how we identify with ourselves in modern times, as does his way of taking the time to record the ordinary through the use of traditional materials such as oil paints and canvas. This is a considerate and lengthy approach considering photography and graphic design could achieve the same ends more swiftly.
The generosity in his artistry is also reflected in his copious use of paint and the animated strokes of his palette knife, a visual metaphor for a rapidly changing world, offering far more content than can be balanced by substance. Roshaninejad is not just an artisan but a philosopher, a conduit that does not just encapsulate the cultural heritage of his ancient city, but manages to extrapolate contemporary connections which ground the minutiae of the everyday in a deeper meaning and context. His work allows us to use his work as tools for reflection, to witness the perpetual recycling of the moment. It is a pertinent reminder of the transitory nature of the life of this world.


Engage Faith In Art

The Craven Gallery Skipton
I visited the private view of this exhibition and can recommend it. It is the first of its kind and showcases the work of exceptional artists. There is also a display of art produced during community workshops run by two of the artists involved. It’s a wonderful example of social engagement and makes the process of creativity accessible to all. The exhibition ends on March 28 so do try to get there if you can. Craven Museum & Gallery, Town Hall, High Street, Skipton, North Yorkshire BD23 1AH

The Gallery is open Monday, Wednesday – Saturday 10am-4pm
Admission is free
For further information telephone: 01756 706407



Ghulam Farid Rafiq-Calligrapher

My favourite piece on display at the Faith In Art exhibition in Yorkshire was a painting entitled ‘Sleeplessness’’ by calligrapher Ghulam Farid Rafiq. The piece is a colourful rendition of longing and soulfulness reflected by Rafiq’s energetically repeated
brushstrokes of ink on paper. Based on a love poem the piece is constructed by an over layering of calligraphy reiterating lines and couplets from the original poem. It reminded me of a series of Persian poems by Hafiz I had purchased at a book fair in Sweden almost two decades ago. These poetic compositions consisting of repetitively flowing letters in rows from right to left were complimented by other verses suspended at 90 degrees. In keeping with this tradition, Rafiq hopes to convey the vastness of the world imagined in the verses by overlaying lines of texts in different coloured inks. By adding colour to reflect the richness of the verses, Rafiq takes this stylisation of poetry further adding to its traditional visual language with a style that is all his own.


Photo Exhibition

Sand in My Eyes

Photographer and author Eniko Nagy has spent several years collecting everyday moments in photography and spoken word from more than 45 tribes and ethnic groups across 30,000 square kilometres of Sudan, in some of the hardest-to-access regions of the world. Presenting very different images than expected from Sudan, this exhibition draws from more than 26,000 photos and 2,500 pieces of oral proverbs, legends, myths,
poetry and songs. The London showing of the exhibition is copresented by the Brunei Gallery, SOAS and the Embassy of the Republic of Sudan and is to tour Germany; Austria; the Netherlands; Norway; Belgium; France; Italy; Spain; the USA and Sudan. The book Sand in My Eyes: Sudanese Moments published in 2014 by UNESCO will be available from the SOAS Bookshop accompanying the exhibition.

Venue: The Brunei Gallery, SOAS University of London, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Time: 10.30 AM – 5.00 PM
Admission: Free


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