British artist Saad Qureshi is currently presenting his sculptures of surreal landscapes at Yorkshire Sculpture Park. “Something About Paradise” takes over YSP’s 18th-century chapel with mysterious, monumental forms that explore the meaning of ‘paradise’ in a contemporary context. For Qureshi’s first solo museum exhibition, the artist was inspired by the stories he gathered when he traveled around the UK and asked those with or without faith what ‘paradise’ meant to them.
“Something About Paradise” interprets their descriptions of “imagined oases” into physical architectural installations. Traditional temples and modernist houses are built within towering geological environments and fantastical landscapes. A highlight of the exhibition includes seven hand-cut wooden gates standing against the chapel walls. Referencing the “Gates of Paradise” or the seven heavens — common to many religions — Qureshi reflects on the common ground that unites people in a divisive society.
“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 realized that the paradise that others spoke of was often radically different from mine, yet never too far from our consciousness.”
Take a closer look at Qureshi’s architectural landscapes in the gallery above. “Something About Paradise” is on view from now until March 15.
In other art-related news, 20 of the best and most renowned Japanese artists will create posters for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, such as Hirohiko Araki and Naoki Urasawa.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park
West Bretton, Wakefield