The exhibition follows the announcement of the winner of the Jameel Prize, which is awarded every two years and aims to, ‘encourage artists globally to continue exploring the roots of Islam and the role of its traditions in the world today expressed through art’, according to the V&A.
The show features 20 pieces of work that made it onto the shortlist for the £25, 000 prize.
There were more than 270 submissions from countries across the globe. This huge selection of work was then whittled down to just ten artists by a panel of judges headed by V&A director Martin Roth.
This year’s shortlist features work from product designer Nada Debs. Her Concrete Carpet submission features Arabic fonts painstakingly chiseled into lightweight concrete and then finished with mother of pearl.
Saudi Arabian artist Nasser Al Salem’s work similarly experiments with the momentous power of the written word. His large-scale calligraphy pieces explore new forms of meaning within text and play with the relationship between medium and message.
Faig Ahmed has submitted two of his carpet designs for the Jameel Prize. His work combines traditional carpet embroidery with disruptive design elements to examine the role of traditional artistic practices in contemporary society.
One of the judges, founding director of the Khatt Foundation for Arabic typography Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFarès, says, ‘It is exciting to see that the selected works although referencing traditional Islamic culture, also reflect universal design concerns and fresh new ideas.’
This is the third time the award has been handed out. In 2011 the prize was awarded to Rachid Koraïchi, for his work Les Maîtres Invisibles; a selection of embroidered banners. In 2008 Afruz Amighi won the prize for her piece 1001 Pages that used light and shadow to create disorienting and evocative patterns.
The Jameel Prize 3 shortlist exhibition runs from 11 December – 21 April 2014 at the V&A, Cromwell Road, London SW7