The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, continues its 2017 exhibition programme with a solo exhibition of works by Rana Begum. Opening on Friday 12 May Rana Begum: Space Light Colour will be the first museum exhibition of works from one of the most exciting young artists working today. Rana has already completed a number of remarkable public commissions including at King’s Cross Cubitt Square in 2016. She is also the recipient of the prestigious 2017 Abraaj Group Art Prize with her commission unveiled at Art Dubai on 14 March.
Rana Begum’s working practice has a transformative quality that engages with space, light and form, blurring the boundaries between sculpture, painting and architecture. Her work has a great affinity to the built environment and uses repetitive geometric patterns found within Islamic art and urban architecture. She imposes order and structure through the use of prefabricated components, but transformed by the application of colour. The array of sensations –be it intentional or unexpected– evoked by these chromatic choices can change dramatically as the viewer moves through the space.
Rana Begum’s practice has a strong connection with the Sainsbury Centre, which holds an important collection of Abstract and Constructivist Art. Drawing on her interest in contemporary architecture, this exhibition allows the artist to engage with and respond to the iconic Norman Foster building, providing an exciting context for the work to engage with light, space and environment.
The exhibition contains several sculptures, paintings, and models alongside new works currently in production. A highlight will be the immersive and transformative sculptural environment created by No.670 Mesh Installation. Free-standing coloured aluminium bars and wall-mounted aluminium bars such as No. 529 –created for her solo show at Galeri Mana, Istanbul and making its first appearance in the UK – are not to be missed. These are complemented by relief ‘fold’ works, with their complex geometries, stealth-like form and shimmering palettes. A range of models that Begum has produced for public commissions will also be on display, providing a remarkable insight into how her practice engages with ideas concerning community and place.
In order to provide a historical context for the exhibition, the Centre is currently displaying a selection of works from its collection of Abstract and Constructivist Art. The display includes pieces by Mary Martin, Lygia Clark, Tess Jaray, Jesus Raphael Soto and Max Bill.