Award-winning Pakistani artist Imran Qureshi will transform Bradford’s Lister Park and City Park with a major new outdoor commission inspired by the million-strong British Indian army that fought in the First World War.
Garden Within A Garden, which will be on display from 22 June, has been co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, Bradford Council and Yorkshire Festival 2016.
Imran, who lives and works in Lahore, Pakistan, is arriving in Bradford this week to start planning his work.
Lahore, Pakistan, lies within a region that as part of the British Raj, enlisted a huge number of Muslim, Sikh and Hindu soldiers to fight on the Western Front. It is their experiences of being at war in a distant land and in a hostile climate that will inform Garden Within A Garden.
Imran will paint with acrylics directly onto the paving in City Park and the Mughal Water Gardens in Lister Park in a delicate style inspired by the historic craft of Pakistani and Indian miniature painting.
Garden Within A Garden is part of the Yorkshire Festival 2016, which will present hundreds of performances and events all over the county from 16 June to 3 July.
Born in Hyderabad, Pakistan, in 1972, Imran Qureshi was awarded the Deutsche Bank Award for Artist of the Year in 2013 and had his first UK solo exhibition at Ikon Gallery in Birmingham in 2014.
His current exhibition Where the Shadows are so Deep is on display at the Barbican Centre until 10 July this year.
Coun Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Environment, Sport and Culture, said: “Bradford is proud to be part of the WW1 Centenary Art Commissions taking place around the country.
“It is an opportune moment for us to reflect on the experiences of people from across the world who fought on the side of the Allies in the First World War and the invaluable contribution they made to the war efforts.
“We hope local people will engage on the ‘Garden Within A Garden’ in this beautiful setting. Lister Park is much loved and enjoyed by nearby residents and this piece of art will add a further dimension to the Mughal Gardens.”
Yorkshire Festival’s Artistic Director, Matt Burman, said: “We are thrilled to be co-commissioning this significant new work with Bradford Council and 14-18 NOW, as part of Yorkshire Festival 2016.
“Presenting fantastic and important international artists like Qureshi alongside our county’s finest performers and makers is exciting and essential to all of us at the Festival and our producing partners.
“I hope local people and visitors to Bradford will take to enjoy and reflect on his beautiful, thought-provoking works.”