Middlesex University Cross Faith Artists Build Cultural Bridges

Middlesex Cross Faith Artists

Four Middlesex University fine artists have had their work displayed at an exhibition in Shoreditch, London, after winning grants from the Three Faiths Forum (3FF) to create pieces to simulate dialogue about art, belief and identity.

Middlesex BA Fine Art students Miki Shaw, Kerri Jefferis, Zuleika Lebow and Husna Lohiya took part in art exhibition called ‘Urban Dialogues’ which was organised by 3FF to coincide with interfaith week.  Held at the Red Gallery, the exhibition included art, music, workshops and events, and was visited by more than a thousand people including many school children.

The talented artists received ‘Urban Dialogues Awards’ to create the pieces.  One of the projects, titled ‘Bindan Sanctum’, was a large mixed-media tapestry, made by Kerri, Zuleika and Husna.  Middlesex student Miki worked with filmmaker Sedi Ghadiri and painter Marta Rocamora to create a set of work called ‘Spirituality in Motion’, which addressed the ways spiritual connections can be found through gesture.  This included animations, film and installation.

Middlesex student Miki Shaw from Finchley said: “Our collaboration explores ways in which spirituality is expressed or experienced through physical movement. We were three artists from three different faith backgrounds (Islam, Christianity and Judaism) who had never worked together prior to this project. In our initial discussions we were intrigued by the similarity of movement rituals among our different belief systems. We were also interested in looking beyond activities of religious origin, to note the connections with everyday human habits. The purpose of our piece is to shine the spotlight on these rituals, to see how these movements help us establish a spiritual connection within us, beyond us and with others.”

Miki ran an art workshop in the gallery for 60 primary school children from a Jewish primary school and a non-denominational one. The two schools are now starting to work together as part of the 3FF schools linking programme which connects schools and children of different religions.  The exhibition also incorporated musical performances including that of Miki’s band ‘GhettoPlotz’.  The Middlesex students also took part in the evening events discussing their work and views.

The collaborative exhibition, which aims to give people a chance to create new connections and promote positive change within communities, caught the attention of BBC London, with Miki giving a radio interview on her work.