press release

"They tell me that not everything is black and white, I say why the hell not?" John Wayne

"And Hell will be manifest to him who sees." Qur'an - Surat Al-Nâzi't

In his first major London solo show Shezad Dawood presents a major new series of sculptural works, using neon and tumbleweeds, that embody the Islamic tradition of the '99 Names of God' and, alongside, a new series of paintings that present a dark, fragmented vision of the American Wild West.

The works attempt to find a point of reconciliation between two seemingly diametrically opposed and yet, at present, fatally interwoven, cultural traditions, that of Islamic spiritualism and the myths and values of the American Wild West, especially as articulated in The Western film tradition.

The works propose the formlessness of the desert and the empty wilderness, key elements in both cultures, as a place where such reconciliation may be found.

Shezad Dawood
If I Should Fall From Grace With God