"The conceptual ambiguity of the resulting patterns, a theme also represented in the large projects I have created over the years, create an interactive experience in which the onlooker’s subjective experiences of alienation and belonging become part of the piece and its identity." Anila Quayyum Agha
Agha’s “Intersections” installation at the the Grand Rapids Art Museum filled an entire gallery with a light source in the center of a laser-cut wooden cube. The lattice of shadows represents, according to the artist’s statement, “geometric patterning in Islamic sacred spaces, associated with certitude.” A play between the nature of public and private space, the work also challenges viewers by blurring the traditional boundaries of what constitutes an art work by placing attention as much on the shadows as the sculpted object itself.
In this amazing light and shadow installation by Anila Quayyum Agha, we see a large-scale patterned wood cube with an interior light source that projects brilliant shadow patterns on the surrounding walls.
Entitled Intersections (6.5′ cube, projected shadows: 35′x32′), the artwork has been selected as a finalist for the 3rd Annual See.Me: Year in Review Competition.
With this large scale patterned wood project I explored intersections of culture and religion, the dynamics and interpretation of space and sight as it threaded through cultures and emerged as varied expressions that redefine themselves with the passage of time. In this piece, a motif that is believed to represent certitude is explored to reveal its fluidity i.e. the geometrical patterning in Islamic sacred spaces. This project is meant to uncover the contradictory nature of all intersections; which are simultaneously boundaries and also points of meeting.
The Intersections project takes the seminal experience of exclusion as a woman from a space of community and creativity such as a Mosque and translates the complex expressions of both wonder and exclusion that have been my experience while growing up in Pakistan. The wooden frieze emulates a pattern from the Alhambra, which was poised at the intersection of history, culture and art and was a place where Islamic and Western discourses, met and co-existed in harmony and served as a testament to the symbiosis of difference. I have given substance to this mutualism with the installation project exploring the binaries of public and private, light and shadow, and static and dynamic. This installation project relies on the purity and inner symmetry of geometric design, the interpretation of the cast shadows and the viewer’s presence with in a public space.
Winner of both the public and juried vote of Artprize 2014, Pakistani artist Anila Quayyum Agha exercises the architecture of the Grand Rapids Art Museum in Michigan by infilling it with a dynamic interplay of shadow and light. Intersections comprises a 6.5 foot laser-cut wooden cube pierced with carefully crafted patterns and illuminated from the inside, which casts expansive, lace-like geometries onto the surrounding walls, ceiling and floor.
So… I’ve seen many posts about Element!Elsa and wanted to add my own… this is Anila, and air/wind princess from India. Her name means “children of the wind” in Indian. I saw they all had different cultures and races so I wanted to add India in. I know it ‘s probably far from accurate, but…