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The Jameel Prize 5


The Jameel Prize 5, an international award for contemporary art and design inspired by Islamic tradition, opened at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London on Thursday 29th July and runs until 25th November 2018.  The aim of the prize is to explore the relationship between Islamic traditions of art, craft and design and contemporary work as part of a wider debate about Islamic culture and its role today.

This year, for the first time, the prize was awarded to joint winners Bangladeshi architect Marina Tabassum and Iraq-born artist Mehdi Moutashar. Mehdi received the award for his four bold works of minimalist abstraction rooted in Islamic geometry and Marina for her visionary Bait ur Rouf mosque build in 2012 in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

The Jameel Prize 5 exhibition includes work by all the shortlisted artists – Kamrooz Aram, Hayv Kahraman, Hala Kaiksow, naqsh collective, Younes Rahmoun and Wardha Shabbir.

The work on show includes fashion design inspired by tribal garments; furniture design using digital patterns inspired by Middle Eastern embroidery traditions; light installations inspired by Sufi philosophy and Islamic geometry; painting and collage installation that explores the complicated relationship between traditional non-Western art and Western modernism; paintings that explore femininity and exile and works on paper that use the language of traditional miniature painting to explore contemporary ideas on the surface of paper.

The diversity of practices on show highlights the richness of Islamic tradition as a source of contemporary creativity and the different ways in which these artistic expressions connect meaningfully with audiences today.


Image: Mehdi Moutashar, Deux carrés dont un encadré (Two squares, one of them framed), 2017, wood, paint, elastic wire. Collection of the artist. Photo © Fabrice Leroux