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Renowned Egyptian artist commissioned for new Harris Museum artwork

Posted on - 28th May, 2024 - 6:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Arts, History, Preston City Centre, Preston Council, Preston News
Pic: Fadi Kodzi
Pic: Fadi Kodzi

A renowned Egyptian artist has been confirmed for a new piece of artwork set to feature in the Harris Museum when it reopens in 2025.

Khaled Hafez will produce the artwork, which has been commissioned in partnership with the IWM 14-18 NOW Legacy Fund.

The IWM 14-18 NOW Legacy Fund is a national partnership programme of over 20 artist commissions inspired by the heritage of conflict. i, the IWM 14-18 NOW Legacy Fund aims to enable The Harris to delve into these shared histories of conflict and connection.

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Cllr Anna Hindle, the new cabinet member for Arts and Culture at Preston City Council following the departure of Peter Kelly, said: “The Harris has a long history of notable commissions, with one of its most prominent being the Egyptian Balcony painted by artist John Somerscales in 1908.

“This distinctive feature, inspired by a research trip to Egypt, highlights the historical ties between Preston and Egypt. Yet, these connections remain largely unexplored, despite Egypt’s central role in The Harris’ collection and the city’s history.

“This collaboration marks an exciting milestone in The Harris’ ongoing commitment to engaging audiences with thought-provoking art that explores the intersection of history, culture, and identity.”

Khaled Hafez, a multifaceted artist whose work encompasses painting, video/film, photography, installation, and interdisciplinary approaches, will hope to bring a unique perspective to the project. Hafez’s core research delves into the nature of identity, particularly focusing on a composite identity woven from African, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Arab, Islamic, ancient Egyptian, and Judeo-Christian influences.

“In my current video, photography, and mixed media works, I am interested in movement, an element deeply embedded in ancient Egyptian art,” Khaled Hafez said. “I use symbols and codes from various ancient cultures to explore universal heritage.”

The upcoming commission will utilise The Harris’ collections to reveal stories relevant to modern audiences and will look to engage local communities, building upon connections between Preston and Egypt.

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This story was made possible by support from you, our readers, and a host of organisations in the city, through our Crowdfund Lancashire appeal, which unlocked support from the Lancashire Culture and Sport Fund provided by Lancashire County Council. You can see all our coverage and, if you know of an arts project or event in the city we should be covering, send details to contactus@blogpreston.co.uk.

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