Artist mak­ing her name with geo­met­ric de­signs

Macclesfield Express - - TIME TRIP -

WHILE Mac­cles­field-born sculp­tors He­len Marten and David Shrigley are her­alded as fu­ture art stars, a third – less as­sum­ing – artist from the town is mak­ing waves in the cre­ative world.

Zarah Hus­sain, 36, has just en­joyed mas­sive suc­cess with her sculp­tural in­stal­la­tion Nu­mina at the world­fa­mous Bar­bican in London.

Her mes­meris­ing art com­bines Is­lamic ge­om­e­try, a style which uses maths to cre­ate in­fi­nite re­peat­ing pat­terns, with con­tem­po­rary dig­i­tal arts.

Zarah first dis­cov­ered her love of geo­met­ric art at 12 at the for­mer Ryles Park school, where she was in­spired by her art teacher James Sheilds.

Zarah said: “While most kids were draw­ing still life or fruit I was do­ing this geo­met­ric stuff. I found the in­tri­cate de­signs beau­ti­ful.

“Mr Sheilds opened my mind and taught me that good art comes from some­thing that means some­thing to you. That was a piv­otal mo­ment for me. He was an in­spi­ra­tional teacher.”

Zarah, who grew up on the Moss es­tate, was also in­spired by a school trip to London where she saw the Sensation ex­hi­bi­tion which launched the ca­reers of Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin.

She later stud­ied English and His­tory at univer­sity in Manch­ester, and worked for the BBC as a re­searcher, but she never stopped paint­ing.

Zarah won fund­ing to study an MA in the Vis­ual Is­lamic and Tra­di­tional Art pro­gramme at the Prince’s School for Tra­di­tional Arts in London, where she spent years per­fect­ing her tech­niques.

Some of Zarah’s ear­li­est ex­hi­bi­tions were at the for­mer Bar Cuba and Mac­cles­field Li­brary. She has since ex­hib­ited all over the world and won the Mo­saic Award for Art and Cul­ture, pre­sented by the Prince of Wales.

Zarah has now made London her home, where she lives with her hus­band and twin boys, but vis­its her par­ents who still live in the town.

Zarah de­scribed the Bar­bican ex­hi­bi­tion as the ‘best thing she’s ever done’.

She said: “It’s had a fan­tas­tic re­cep­tion so I am re­ally happy.

“It’s funny when you think about how many artists from Mac­cles­field are do­ing so well. He­len Marten, David Shrigley, we are re­ally over­rep­re­sent­ing the town in the mod­ern art world.”

For in­for­ma­tion visit zarah­hus­

Pic­tures: Max Col­son

Mac­cles­field-born Zarah Hus­sain spe­cialises in geo­met­ric Is­lamic art

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