Inspired by the Manifesting the Unseen project, the gallery commissioned two local artists to make site specific work for the Showcase Gallery window to showcase both established and up and coming talent in the city. The exhibition, Jaali, featured large scale textile pieces by textile artist Abeer Kayani and small embroidered works stitched by Dr Nazneen Ahmed and women from the Women’s Integration Group in Northam, who workshopped together before the pandemic in preparation for the exhibition's original release dates. It brought together ideas of Islamic geometry, Islamic architectural principles, but also local Southampton spaces and architecture.
A key part of the project was the mentoring between Nazneen Ahmed, an established artist in the city and Abeer Kayani, a new graduate, to support the development of new talent and increase the visibility of women artists in the city. The dialogue between the two artists continued throughout lockdowns and formed a core part of the exhibition development, sustaining them both through difficult and challenging times.
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