Life in colour as Rana Begum brings museum debut show to Norwich

Rana Begum whose debut museum solo exhibition, Space Light Colour, is at the Sainsbury Centre. Pictu

Rana Begum whose debut museum solo exhibition, Space Light Colour, is at the Sainsbury Centre. Picture: Philip White - Credit: Philip White

Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts hosts exhibition of striking and colourful solo works by one of the most exciting artists working in Britain today.

Work by Rana Begum is installed in the exhibition space at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts. Pic

Work by Rana Begum is installed in the exhibition space at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts. Picture: Andy Crouch - Credit: Archant

Drawing on her interest in contemporary architecture, the first museum exhibition by British, Bangladeshi born artist Rana Begum brings her to Norwich and sees her engage with the iconic Norman Foster building at the Sainsbury Centre.

One of the most exciting artists working in Britain today, her artworks blur the boundaries between sculpture, painting and architecture.

Born in 1977, Rana Begum lives and works in London but is already beginning to establish an international reputation. She studied at Chelsea College of Art and Design (BA Painting 1996-1999) and the Slade School of Fine Art in London (MA Painting 2000-2002).

No. 394 L Fold by Rana Begum. Courtesy of the artist. Photograph by Philip White

No. 394 L Fold by Rana Begum. Courtesy of the artist. Photograph by Philip White - Credit: Archant

She has already completed a number of 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 in March.


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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 – intentional or unexpected – evoked by these chromatic choices can change dramatically as the viewer moves through the space.

Rana Begum's artwork titled No. 161 (2008). Courtesy of the artist and Parasol Unit

Rana Begum's artwork titled No. 161 (2008). Courtesy of the artist and Parasol Unit - Credit: Archant

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The new body of work she has brought to Norwich — titled Space Light Colour, which runs from May 12-October 1, in conjunction with the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, sees her use of space, colour and form to transform the Mezzanine Gallery with an immersive installation and wall-mounted reliefs, taking advantage of the light and space of Norman Foster's architecture.

The exhibition contains several sculptures, paintings and models alongside new works currently in production.

A highlight promises to be the immersive and transformative sculptural environment created by No. 670 Mesh Installation.

Rana Begum installing work at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts. Picture: Andy Crouch

Rana Begum installing work at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts. Picture: Andy Crouch - Credit: Archant

Free-standing coloured aluminium bars and wall-mounted aluminium bars such as No. 529 – created for her solo show ar 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 pallettes. A range of models that Begum has produced for public commissions will also be on display, providing an 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 displaying a selection of works from its collection of abstract and constructivist art.

It also includes pieces by Mary Martin, Lygia Clark, Tess Jaray, Jesus Raphael Soto and Max Bill.

• Rana Begum: Space Light Colour, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich, May 12-October 1, Tues-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat-Sun 10am-5pm, £7 (£6 cons), 01603 593199, www.scva.ac.uk

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