Durham University opens Islamic Art Exhibition
(13 November 2006)
An exhibition of Islamic-themed art has been officially opened by Sir Kenneth Calman, Durham University’s Vice Chancellor.
The exhibition entitled ‘The Unity of Being – Inspired by Islam’, features artwork by GCSE pupils from Spennymoor School was commissioned by the Institute for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at the University. Spennymoor School was exploring the theme of the ‘Muslim World’ for the GCSE students art project and contacted the University in the Spring of 2005 to ask if it could help. Professor Anoush Ehteshami, Durham University’s Head of School in the School of Government and International Affairs, who commissioned the art said: ”After a meeting with the school’s art department to look at the different types of Islamic art and Middle Eastern illustrations, we decided to commission the students art work and provide them with an exhibition space in our entrance foyer. “We loaned them a variety of materials such as manuscripts, books, photos, jewellery and traditional costumes to enable them to carry out the project and kept in contact with them at all times. “Now the art work is in place, the students have truly responded to the exhibition space and produced all types of art to compliment the foyer.” Stephen Livingstone, Head of Art, Spennymoor School said: ”The aim was to encourage a greater understanding of the Islamic world and to try and open the children’s eyes to different worlds. “It has taken two years to put together the body of work which includes ceramics, silk painting, stained glass and coloured etchings. “Professor Ehteshami and his colleagues have been very encouraging and supportive. We intend to build on this relationship with the Institute and the pupils will be producing more work for the future.” Professor Ehteshami added: “We want this project to carry on and hope that it will be a rolling exhibition covering different themes. We are already looking at ideas for next year.” The exhibition is free to the public and open from 10 am to 1pm daily in the Al-Qasimi Building, Institute for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at Durham University.