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Making Marks with Yorkshire Sculpture International

Yorkshire Sculpture International Engagement Artist Emii Alrai is part of the Making Marks programme, an exciting new project exploring the impact of international working on emerging artists, run by the Arab British Centre.

Yorkshire Sculpture International Engagement Artist Emii Alrai is part of the Making Marks programme, an exciting new project exploring the impact of international working on emerging artists, run by the Arab British Centre.

As part of the project, the Arab British Centre is working in partnership with creative institutions in Kuwait and the four UK regions, including The Hepworth Wakefield. Making Marks will facilitate group visits for nominated artists to Kuwait and the UK, and offer funding for creative, community engagement programmes under the project’s themes.

In April 2019, Emii Alrai visited Kuwait and we are pleased to announce that the artists she met there will be visiting Yorkshire and the four YSI venues next week on 14 August. At The Hepworth Wakefield, the artists will tour the YSI exhibitions and meet with our curatorial and learning teams to discuss the work the gallery does to support emerging artists.

Emii Alrai is a first generation Iraqi British artist based in Leeds. Emii’s practice is concerned with themes of identity, particularly between Britain and the Middle East. She is intrigued by the residue which is left by these cultural collisions, which manifest in the western appropriation of cultural objects, artefact and language. Her sculptural practice reconstructs Middle Eastern artefacts found both in British museum collections and personal family history in large-scale installations.

Recent exhibitions include House of Teeming Cattle, Two Queens, Leicester (2019) and An Ancient Quiver, GLOAM, Sheffield (2018). For YSI, Emii has worked with community groups in Wakefield to explore the personal histories of refugees and migrants, making connections between cultural objects in Wakefield collections and those newly arriving. The work is currently on display in Wakefield at the Trinity Walk shopping centre.

Making Marks is supported by British Council Kuwait and is run in collaboration with Madeenah and LOYAC in Kuwait, and Belfast Exposed, Fruitmarket Gallery, Mostyn and The Hepworth Wakefield in the United Kingdom. Making Marks is part of the Arab British Centre’s Arab Britain project series. A long-term project for the Arab British Centre, Arab Britain will (re)examine the history of Arabs in Britain – the chronicles of which are often incorporated into Muslim-British, Black-British, minor ethnic migration and other studies – and discover how the United Kingdom and its image of itself – has been formed by contact with individuals, communities and culture from the Middle East and North Africa.