During her childhood, Anila Quayyum Agha was raised within a culture that excluded women from attending the mosque. Relinquished to her home to pray, she was confounded as she began to realize that the mosque served as much more than a hub for prayer, but for a sense of community and creativity that nonetheless excluded her.
It’s only fitting that she became a prominent and award-winning contemporary artist, whose “Intersections” installation is currently on view at the Rice University Installation Gallery.
Specifically reflecting on the exclusion she experienced during her childhood, the installation is inspired by the dense geometries, ornamentations and patterns of Islamic sacred spaces. As Agha explains, the process of creating the work itself helped her to discover “the complex expressions of both wonder and exclusion that have been my experience while growing up.”
There is a palpable emptiness about the installation—especially as Agha relies almost exclusively on light and cast shadow to create a sense of space in the gallery from a single structure that is itself comprised of more negative space than material.
Ahga’s installation will be on view at the Rice University Installation Gallery until Dec 6th. Let us know what you think if you swing by.
Rice University Installation Gallery Hours:
11A–5P on Tues, Wed, Fri & Sat
11A–7P on Thursday
Noon–5P on Sunday
*All images courtesy of the Rice University Installation Gallery.