Shemza Digital: Across Generations uses Anwar Jalal Shemza’s work as a starting point beside the contemporary practice of Aphra Shemza, the artist’s granddaughter.
The exhibition opens on Saturday 14 January until Sunday 16 April. It continues Shemza’s aesthetic exploration of abstract form and extends his legacy for current and future generations. Launched in collaboration with the computer artist Stuart Batchelor, the project highlights the importance of migrant artists in British art history and celebrates diversity in our increasingly polarised political climate.
The exhibition features participatory digital projections that invite you to create your own digital paintings. These will become part of the ever evolving archive of work and will be exhibited in the gallery space. Interactive architectural light sculptures respond to visitors’ movements. A specially commissioned soundscape by NYX and Petit Oiseau accompanies the visual work, fusing traditional South Asian instruments with drone and ambient electronic sounds.
In addition to the immersive and digital elements, the exhibition brings together works by Anwar Jalal Shemza on loan from the artist’s Estate and works from Wolverhampton Art Gallery’s permanent collection. An archival display gives historical context to the project in relation to post war British art and the impact of migration on contemporary British art today.
This is a hybrid exhibition featuring an in person experience at Wolverhampton Art Gallery and a cutting edge online version, hosted on the Gallery’s website, which can be explored from anywhere in the world.
Cabinet Member for City Economy, Councillor Stephen Simkins said:
“This exhibition is something of the future; visitors can delve into a digital world as well as being part of it. This is just the start of an exciting programme that Wolverhampton art Gallery has to offer for 2023.”
The project is supported by the Arts Council England. Private patrons are Taimur Hassan, Hales Gallery, Amrita Jhaveri, ZVM Rangoonwala Foundation and Olivia Aubry.
The exhibition is free. Wolverhampton Art Gallery is open Monday to Saturday 10.30am until 4.30pm and Sunday 11am to 4pm. More information on the exhibition plus events and activities is at Wolverhampton Arts and Culture.