Artist and alumnus Saad Qureshi commissioned for campus artwork

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Quicken by Saad Qureshi

Oxford Brookes University alumnus Saad Qureshi has been selected to make a permanent new art work for the Central Courtyard at the University’s Headington Campus.

Saad, who graduated in 2007 after studying Fine Art, came to public attention as one of the participants in BBC2’s School of Saatchi. He unveiling his first major public work of art Placesfor Nova at the new Land Securities development in London last week. 

Saad is looking forward to talking to students and members of staff as part of the development of the new commission at Oxford Brookes University, he said: “When I was studying for my BA Fine Art at Oxford Brookes, one of the modules was ‘Interventions’ - in which the students are asked to make a work in response to a public space. I really struggled to respond to this assignment, so I went to talk to Janice Howard. She pointed out that this is exactly the kind of thing artists regularly have to do as part of their practice, and that was why it was a really important and relevant exercise. So I put my head down and got on with it, even though I really didn’t enjoy it at the time.

I’ve realised...how forward-thinking Brookes’s programme was, in actively training its students so that they were prepared for the practical realities of life as an artist, which is actually quite rare when compared to other Fine Art programmes.

Saad Qureshi, Artist and Oxford Brookes University alumnus

“I’ve realised since that she was right, of course! But also, how forward-thinking Brookes’s programme was, in actively training its students so that they were prepared for the practical realities of life as an artist, which is actually quite rare when compared to other Fine Art programmes.

“Just ten years later, I find myself coming back to Brookes and bringing the lessons I first learnt here into practice, this time as a professional artist making a permanent commission for my alma mater. There’s a lovely circularity about this, and I’m really looking forward to talking to current students and staff during the development period for this new work, and reconnecting with life on campus as part of the process.”

Images of Saad’s work are currently on display in the University’s Glass Tank exhibition which celebrates recent artwork at Oxford Brookes and launches the first Oxford Brookes Student Art Collection.

After graduating, Saad gained an MFA from The Slade School of Fine Art and has since exhibited extensively both in the UK and internationally, including in the Barbican, Saatchi Gallery and the Royal Academy of Arts and shows in New York, Hong Kong, Turin, Rome, Paris, Dubai and Istanbul.

OCOM by Saad Qureshi

Head of the School of Arts at Oxford Brookes University Larry Lynch said: “Saad’s creation will be a highly anticipated addition to the pieces of art already in place on the Headington Campus.

“Many of the pieces of art on display across the campuses have been made or designed by Oxford Brookes students and graduates reflecting how proud we are of their outstanding creativity and talent.

“We’re extremely excited to welcome Saad back to the University for this project - his new art work will enhance the university environment for staff, students and visitors and allows the campus to grow as a place of cultural interest.”

Saad’s practice draws on memory, time and landscapes. It explores the world in a state of constant evolution and becoming, and our relation to place as something at once concrete and ineffable.

Places for Nova is a site-specific installation which looks at the portability of landscapes, and the human mind as a vehicle that allows places to be carried in the memory from one location to another. As part of its development, Saad invited people who live, work and travel through Victoria to donate a memory of significant landscape that they no longer have access to. These reimagined places have been brought together to create a series of universal ‘mindscapes’

Images: Artworks 'Quicken' and 'OCOM' by Saad Qureshi.