The solo exhibition ‘Of Other, and Possibility’ by Backwater Artists Network artist Samir Mahmood
Samir worked with curator Rachel Botha towards this very timely showcase, “I feel very privileged to be working with Samir on his first solo exhibition. We are having regular meetings and conversations about the philosophy surrounding ‘non-duality’, queerness and exhibition-making – it’s been a collaborative exchange. I am very excited to present this exhibition, where the poetic can be a powerful act of protest.”
The ideas for Samir’s art practice come from research on experiences of migration, citizenship, identity and spirituality. The work focuses on themes of the body, transformation, transcendence and cultures surrounding queer existence. Samir’s practice borders between the planned and spontaneous. The work produced through this engagement comprises digital photo-collages, painting, objects, video and recently mixed reality.
Samir’s Indo-Persion miniature style paintings queer the grammar of patriarchal homophobic society and depict a distorted sense of reality experienced by queer migrants. These works constitute an act of disobedience, by inserting a naked male body in the sacred genre of manuscript art.
As part of the exhibition, the poet Sacha White was commissioned to respond to the exhibition and Samir Mahmood’s work. Sacha White is currently working towards a PhD at Queen’s University Belfast. She recently featured in the anthology Queering the Green, edited by Paul Maddern and published by The Lifeboat Press. She was selected for Poetry Ireland Introductions in 2021, and was a 2020 recipient of the Ireland Chair of Poetry Student Award. Her poems have been published in The Honest Ulsterman, and she is a contributing editor for The Tangerine.
Samir is a studio member at MART Studios, Galway.