Manchester Art Gallery

Beyond the Page: Contemporary Art from Pakistan

Beyond the Page brought eight of Pakistan's most prestigious makers of 'miniature art' to Manchester Art Gallery, as part of the Festival of Muslim Cultures 2006.

Manchester Art Gallery
Saturday 30 September 2006–Sunday 14 January 2007


Pakistan’s new miniature art movement is experiencing a spectacular revival around the world. Inspired by the traditional art of miniature painting, artists have created stunning contemporary work which reflects their country’s turbulent history and their feelings of national identity.

The exhibition featured existing and new artworks created especially for Manchester Art Gallery, demonstrating how these artists have transformed a traditional style of painting using different media and techniques. Melbourne-based artist Nusra Latif Qureshi exhibited two of her beautiful collages, Passionate Beings in Flight and Familiar Desires I, combining decorative patterns, flat planes of colour and 19th century photographic images. Aisha Khalid’s Infinite Justice is a striking fabric artwork made from over a 1000 sewing needles with black and maroon silk thread, inspired by the war against terror. Hamra Abbas’ collage Please do not touch, stay out and enjoy the show, also featured, combines painting, text and Islamic pattern to stunning effect.

The exhibtion also displayed a large-scale painting by Imran Qureshi created directly onto the gallery walls and giant vinyl artworks by Nusra Latif Qureshi and Rashid Rana specially commissioned for the gallery’s glass atrium. Also included was a painting by the late Zahoor ul Akhlaq. Widely acknowledged as one of the leading artists in Pakistan and credited with reviving the miniature movement, Akhlaq has influenced the younger generation of artists.

Beyond the Page was part of The Festival of Muslim Cultures, a national celebration of Muslim contributions to world art, science and history.   Museums and galleries across Manchester selected objects from their collections that are influenced by Muslim culture.

An illustrated 68 page full-colour catalogue was made available, co-published by Asia House, Green Cardamom and Manchester Art Gallery. It is also available through Cornerhouse Publications.