Emii Alrai (b.1993, Blackpool) lives in Leeds and has a studio in Wakefield. She creates works and installations that subvert the traditional visual language of museum displays. Alrai weaves together ancient mythologies from the Middle East and oral histories from her own Iraqi heritage in objects which imitate archaeological artefacts. Alrai’s work draws attention to the contrast between the polished aesthetics of museums and the states of ruin which befall archaeological objects and the landscapes they are excavated from.
As well as a major commission for The Hepworth Wakefield as part of iniva’s Future Collect programme, in 2022 Alrai has a solo show at Eastside Projects in Birmingham. Previous solo exhibitions include Jerwood Arts, London (2021) and The Tetley, Leeds (2020). In 2019 Alrai took part in the inaugural Yorkshire Sculpture International (YSI) festival as an engagement artist and continues to be part of the YSI Sculpture Network.
A Core of Scar - Community Programme
Working in partnership with Dominion Training, we invited ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) learners to The Hepworth Wakefield to respond creatively to Emii Alrai’s exhibition A Core of Scar. Here they worked with artist Stephanie Jefferies and Communities Programmer Jessica Witkowska to explore themes, materials and ideas in Alrai’s work.