‘Ways of Communicating’ art exhibition launches at Kala Sangam

By ANISAH ARIF

Minerva Hussain, a 49-year-old man with Usher syndrome has just launched his brand new exhibition at the Kala Sangam Centre in Bradford.

The exhibition titled ‘Ways of Communicating’ is Minerva’s biggest exhibition to date and produces bold and tactile artwork. This public exhibition of work features a selection of paintings and drawings created over the last decade.

The Bradford-born artist is Deafblind which makes his work truly remarkable and unique.

Minerva Hussain (left) with his interpreter.

The syndrome started to affect his sight when he was 18, gradually getting worse until he was left with just peripheral vision. He now communicates throught tactile BSL, feeling British Sign Language on the hands of the person who is talking.

Minerva’s art is a profound expression of his thoughts and ideas. His work is created using a camera and specialist computer software to enhance the images and enable him to reproduce them and work across a number of mediums. This incredibly detailed and tactile work produces vivid images so that the viewer can see with their fingers as well as their eyes.

Alex Croft, Creative Director at Kala Sangam said: “This is important because Minerva is from Bradford. We’re about representing Bradford’s communities throughout our displays and events over the course of the year with each being different.

“As we look to build on traditional South Asian music and dance, this is looking at people who are from South Asian heritage who are expressing different things around it. Usually, South Asian work tends to be very traditional about music and dance.

Minerva Hussain showing his brother and family his art.

“Whereas Minerva’s work is about the disability he’s grown up with. It is about what it means to be contemporary and written of South Asian heritage but shows he has a very few ways of expressing yourself through art and how he’s managed to do that”.

Minerva spoke to Asian Sunday through two interpreters. He used his own version of ‘hands on’ sign language with his own interpreter, who is also deaf and used sign language to a second interpreter, who spoke to us, which we then noted comments down. When asked where he got his inspiration from, Minerva told us: “I did a lot of my work in 2012. I thought of the ideas myself, because I’m smart”.

The Exhibition runs until Thursday 24 January 2019 at the Kala Sangam Centre in Bradford. For more information, visit: www.kalasangam.org

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