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Gallery Oldham Zarah Hussain Published: Tuesday, 11th January 2022

Cutting-edge digital art combines with traditional, hand-drawn Islamic geometry in Zarah Hussain's Light Upon Light, a new exhibition at Gallery Oldham.

A self-proclaimed 'visual mathematician', Zarah works at the intersection of science and spirituality, combining her childhood passion for Islamic geometry with digital technology to create interactive apps, infinitely looping animations, paintings and sculptures.

Born in Macclesfield in 1980, Zarah was pursuing a career in the media when she discovered a course in visual and Islamic art run by the Prince's School of Traditional Arts in London.

Securing a paid scholarship on the strength of her portfolio, she graduated with a master's degree in 2004 and her innovative and experimental work has secured critical acclaim ever since.

Sharjah Spectrum, a large-scale, interactive installation which allowed visitors to manipulate colours via mobile phones, featured at the Sharjah Museum's 2015 Islamic Arts Festival in the United Arab Emirates.

Zarah projected her animated geometry, Magic Carpet, on the exterior of London's William Morris Gallery the same year, while Numina, her large-scale sculpture with digitally-animated surface, was commissioned by The Barbican for the capital venue's foyer spaces programme.

Light Upon Light, which opens at Gallery Oldham on Saturday 22 January, features twelve new pieces of wall-based sculpture, together with drawings and the light installation, Invisible Threads.

Zarah created Invisible Threads for the 2018 Macclesfield Barnaby Festival, with its ever-changing design and infinite colour combinations ensuring the piece constantly evolves.

Councillor Shaid Mushtaq, Oldham Council’s Cabinet for Education and Skills, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Zarah’s exhibition to Gallery Oldham.

“Our team down at the Gallery have worked alongside her to create this show and it’s good that we can now share it with visitors.”

Rebecca Hill, Exhibitions and Collections Co-ordinator at Gallery Oldham, said: "Zarah's work traces a line from the ancient art form of Islamic geometry to the digital age, creating pieces which chime with her belief in universal connectivity.

“By blending the traditional with the cutting-edge, she has created a stunning body of work.”

Zarah Hussain's Light Upon Light is a touring exhibition produced by Gallery Oldham. It was shown at Rugby Art Gallery and Museum from 18 September to 13 November 2021 and will travel to The Atkinson in Southport following its showing in Oldham.

For more information about Zarah Hussain and her work visit www.zarahhussain.co.uk

To find out more about events and exhibitions at Gallery Oldham visit www.galleryoldham.org.uk

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