surreal architectural landscapes by saad qureshi explore the meaning of 'paradise' at YSP
 

surreal architectural landscapes by saad qureshi explore the meaning of 'paradise' at YSP

from now through march 15, 2020 at yorkshire sculpture park (YSP), british artist saad qureshi explores the meaning of ‘paradise’ in a contemporary context through his first solo museum exhibition. ‘something about paradise’ infills the nave of YSP’s 18th-century chapel with three monumental forms that rise from the floor. these sculptural assemblages comprise a spread of surreal landscapes, architectural ideations and mysterious structures. upon closer inspection, an eclectic mix of architectural styles — from traditional temples to modernist houses — are revealed among forest, desert and fantastical geological environments.

saad qureshi
something about paradise, installation view
image courtesy the artist and yorkshire sculpture park / photo © jonty wilde

 

 

‘paradise is a very personal place,’ qureshi says. ‘over the course of my life, it’s a word that has kept recurring in a variety of guises. I was born into a religious household, where the quranic allegories of the seven heavens formed part of the backdrop to family life. as I grew up and my experiences broadened, I realised that the paradise that others spoke of was often radically different from mine, yet never too far from our consciousness.’

saad qureshi
something about paradise, installation view
image courtesy the artist and yorkshire sculpture park / photo © jonty wilde

 

 

in developing ‘something about paradise’ for YSP, qureshi — an avid gatherer of stories — travelled around the united kingdom asking those with and without faith what the word ‘paradise’ means for them. these intimate conversations allowed the artist to interpret the participants’ descriptions of these imagined oases into physical installations that he refers to as ‘mindscapes’.

 

also included in the exhibition are seven ornate, hand-cut and painted wooden gates standing against the chapel walls. these installations reference the gates of paradise, or the seven heavens common to many religions. by blending the earthly and spiritual within the meditative setting of YSP’s chapel, qureshi asks audiences to consider a hopeful dialogue between each other, and reflect on the common ground in today’s often polarized society.

saad qureshi
something about paradise, 2019 (detail)
image courtesy the artist and yorkshire sculpture park / photo © jonty wilde

saad qureshi
something about paradise, 2019 (detail)
image courtesy the artist and yorkshire sculpture park / photo © jonty wilde

saad qureshi
something about paradise, 2019, and gates of paradise, 2019
image courtesy the artist and yorkshire sculpture park / photo © jonty wilde

saad qureshi
something about paradise, 2019, and gates of paradise VI, 2019
image courtesy the artist and yorkshire sculpture park / photo © jonty wilde


something about paradise, 2019 (detail)
image courtesy the artist and yorkshire sculpture park / photo © jonty wilde


something about paradise, 2019 (detail)
image courtesy the artist and yorkshire sculpture park


something about paradise, 2019 (detail)
image courtesy the artist and yorkshire sculpture park / photo © jonty wilde


something about paradise, 2019 (detail)
image courtesy the artist and yorkshire sculpture park / photo © jonty wilde


night jewel, 2019
image courtesy the artist and yorkshire sculpture park / photo © jonty wilde


night jewel, 2019 (detail)
image courtesy the artist / photo © hugh pryor


something about paradise, installation view
image courtesy the artist and yorkshire sculpture park / photo © jonty wilde

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