Art And Culture

Bradford Art Installation Pays Tribute to WWI Soldiers

Bradford Art Installation Pays Tribute to WWI Soldiers Bradford Art Installation Pays Tribute to WWI Soldiers

Award-winning Pakistani artist Imran Qureshi has transformed Bradford’s Lister Park and City Park with his biggest and most ambitious outdoor commission to date, ‘Garden Within a Garden’.

Inspired by the million-strong British Indian army that fought in the First World War, the project has been co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts program for the First World War centenary, Bradford Council and Yorkshire Festival 2016.

This major new work has been created with acrylic paints applied directly onto paving in City Park and the Mughal Water Gardens next to Cartwright Hall in Lister Park. It is inspired by, and reflects upon, the history of the Indian Army of over one million soldiers that fought alongside the British Army in the First World War.

Qureshi lives and works in Lahore, Pakistan, a region that, as part of the British Raj, enlisted a huge number of Sikh, Muslim and Hindu soldiers to fight on the western front. Their experiences of being at war in a distant land and in a hostile climate have inspired ‘Garden Within A Garden,’ reported.

In response to the ongoing bombing in current conflicts across the globe, Qureshi has used a new, darker palette of black and grey in Lister Park. The second painting, in City Park, is a blue and red circular work with a circumference of 25 feet. Qureshi’s delicate and intricate style of painting is inspired by the historic craft of Pakistani and Indian miniature painting. The work is accompanied by a special display in Cartwright Hall Art Gallery’s Sculpture Court about Qureshi’s work, including photographs and videos showing his miniature paintings and large-scale installations across the world.

The project is part of Yorkshire Festival 2016, an extensive program of performances and events taking place across the county until July 3.

Born in Hyderabad, Pakistan, Qureshi, 46, was awarded the Deutsche Bank Award for Artist of the Year in 2013 and had his first UK solo exhibition at Ikon Gallery in Birmingham in 2014. His current exhibition ‘Where the Shadows are so Deep’ is on display at the Barbican Center until July 10.

Jenny Waldman, Director, 14-18 NOW, said: “Garden Within a Garden is an incredibly striking piece of public art which will give occasion to reflect on the devastating impact of the First World War.”

Councilor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Environment, Sport and Culture, said: “Bradford is proud to be part of the WW1 Centenary Art Commissions taking place around the country. Lister Park is much loved and enjoyed by nearby residents and this piece of art will add a further dimension to the Mughal Gardens.”

Imran Qureshi is an ambassador of one of the world’s leading art brands Winsor & Newton, who have supported the ‘Garden Within a Garden’ installation.