art & exhibitions


Part of Alchemy

London-based artist Faiza Butt was born into a Kashmiri family who settled in Lahore, Pakistan. In her practice, Faiza addresses the anxieties of today’s world: the loss of innocence, the prevalence of violence, inequality and the demoralisation of society.

Text has emerged as a dominant force in Faiza’s recent work. She observes that while ‘today language divides us, originally characters were universal and could be read by anybody’.

Through four large-scale light walls arranged in a cube-like formation, Paracosm alludes to the architecture and decoration of the Holy Kaaba, the building at the centre of Islam's most sacred mosque, Al-Masjid al-Haram in Mecca.

Using decorative Kufic script, Faiza’s work draws inspiration from a tradition of weaving verses in silk and lends a secular and personal dimension to the project.

She has covered the exterior face of the four walls which the audience walk through with poems by Agha Shahid Ali – a fellow Kashmiri whose poem describes a yearning for home, and Faiz Ahmed Faiz – a four-time Nobel prize nominated poet from Pakistan.

In the realisation of this work the artist reinforces the point that in any faith ‘the most sacred notion to observe is humanity.’

Paracosm, 2015, Faiza Butt. Commissioned by New Art Exchange, Nottingham.

Loaned with kind permission by the Artist and New Art Exchange, Nottingham.

Faiza Butt is represented by Rossi & Rossi Gallery and Grosvenor Gallery, London.

In partnership with Amal – A Saïd Foundation Project

Dates & times

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Royal Festival Hall
Blue Side Foyer, Level 2