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Iraqi Art Today: Viewpoints from Two Leading Artists, Baghdad based Hana Mal Allah and London based Rashad Salim

Dates: 23 June 2007

Venue: Leighton House Museum

Time: 3pm to 5pm

Cost: £6, £3 concessions. Booking is essential. To book please call 020 7602 3316 (ask for Katherine or Alan) or e-mail museums@rbkc.gov.uk.

A unique opportunity to hear two major figures in contemporary Iraqi art speak about their own work and how they are responding to the turmoil in their homeland.

Both artists are coming together for a major exhibition entitled ‘Sophisticated Ways in the Destruction of an Ancient City’ at the Aya Gallery in London from June-October 2007. A selection of their works will be displayed at Leighton House for this special afternoon event.

Hana Mal Allah – 3pm to 4pm

Baghdad based artist Hana Mal Allah holds a doctorate in the philosophy of painting from Baghdad University. In conjunction with lecturing commitments in Iraq she also holds exhibitions across the Middle East and Europe. In 2000 her work was included in a major show at the Institute du Monde Arabe, highlighting the best of contemporary Iraqi art.

Hana's talk will discuss her personal response to the fate of her home city. As she explains, "My work focuses on the image of Baghdad as a city founded on an accumulation of artefacts that bear witness to a rich cultural and historical heritage. Yet on the other hand, it is a city that bears witness to systematic destruction and vandalism throughout history".

Rashad Salim – 4pm to 5pm

London based artist Rashad Salim has been at the forefront of contemporary Iraqi art for over twenty years. A graduate of Baghdad University and Central St Martins College of Art and Design, he now holds solo and group exhibitions in the Middle East, Europe and the USA. Rashad’s artwork relates directly or indirectly to Mesopotamian culture and he lectures widely on the subject. He is currently exploring the cohesive influences that cities play in society. As Rashad describes, "bonding and bringing together is what a great city does when in good hands. It is what London is and what Baghdad was famous for".

Leighton House Museum would like to thank Maysaloun Faraj at Aya Gallery for her support of this event. For further details on the exhibition "Sophisticated Ways in the Destruction of an Ancient City" please see www.ayagallery.co.uk