Born 1974 London
Lives and works in London
Shezad Dawood was trained at Central St Martin’s and the Royal College of Art in London before undertaking a PhD at Leeds Metropolitan University. He works across a broad spectrum of media and his works have been exhibited in numerous solo and group shows in the UK, including the Whitechapel Gallery, the Tate Modern and the ICA, as well as internationally in Europe, the USA, Australia and India. Much of Shezad’s practice involves curating and collaboration, frequently working with established artists, curators and critics to create unique networks of critically engaged practitioners.
Shezad Dawood’s work builds up a bizarre and complex dialogue of subversive parallels between diverse value-systems and artistic practices. The work playfully but critically questions our traditional assumptions about the nature and role of art in contemporary consumer society.
“They tell me that not everything is black and white, I say why the hell not?”
“And Hell will be manifest to him who sees.”
Qur’an – Surat Al-Nâzi’t
This neon sculpture By The Heaven of the Returning Rain by Shezad Dawood is part of a series of sculptural works, made this year using neon and tumbleweeds. They embody the Islamic tradition of the ’99 Names of God’ and 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. They propose the formlessness of the desert and the empty wilderness, key elements in both cultures, as a place where such reconciliation may be found.
Information Paradise Row