Rana Begum – Winning Artist, Abraaj Group Art Prize 2017
No.695 Abraaj, 2016, Coloured glass panels, W 9 x L 10.4 x H 1.2 m
The work of London-based artist Rana Begum focuses on spatial and visual experience, reflecting on presence and contemplation. Through her refined language of Minimalist abstraction, Begum blurs the boundaries between sculpture, painting and architecture. Her practice draws inspiration from both the vibrancy and disarray of urban landscapes and the distilled repetition of geometric patterns, which abound in traditional Islamic art and architecture.
The work commissioned by the Abraaj Group Art Prize reiterates Begum’s interest in the interplay between light and colour. The commission stems from a series of studies on MDF panels that focus on overlapping, transparent coloured planes which create a third layer of geometry and colour. This interaction was the starting point which led Begum to explore these concerns further and make them more concrete. These paintings become more physical through the use of transparent glass which allow the viewer to see how light, colour and form come together in an open space.
Presented on a floating platform, the large-scale installation invites viewers to walk around the work and experience the ever-changing reflections of the glass panels. Within this composition, time itself becomes visible as the viewers take in the movement of light throughout the day. Begum captures a combined sense of the ephemeral and transcendental.
Born in Bangladesh in 1977, Rana Begum now lives and works in London. In 1999, she graduated with a BA in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art and Design and, in 2002, gained an MFA in Painting from Slade School of Fine Art.
Recent and forthcoming exhibitions include; The Space Between, Parasol Unit (2016) Into boundless space I leap, Maxwell Centre, UK (2016); 11th Gwangju Biennale, Korea (2016); Solo Show, Galerie Christian Lethert, Cologne, Germany (2016); New Visions, Tensta Konsthall, Sweden (2015); Towards an Infinite Geometry, Jhaveri Contemporary, Mumbai, India (2015); Future Light, Vienna Biennale 2015: Ideas for Change; Solo Show, Galeri Mana, Istanbul, Turkey (2014); Solo Project, Dhaka Art Summit, Dhaka, Bangladesh (2014); No.10, The Third Line, Dubai, UAE (2013); Manifold, Galerie Christian Lethert, Cologne, Germany (2013); The Folded Page, Jhaveri Contemporary, Mumbai, India (2011); New Works, Delfina Foundation, London, UK (2010); and Fractured Symmetry, Bischoff/Weiss, London, UK (2010).
She has also participated in many international group exhibitions, including: New Visions, Tensta Konsthal, Stockholm, Sweden (2016); Geometries of Difference, Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, New York, USA (2015); The Language of Human Consciousness, Athr Gallery, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (2014); Summer Show, The Third Line, Dubai, UAE (2014); Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK (2012) where she received the Jack Goldhill Award for Sculpture.