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Multi-faith exhibition in Shoreditch breaks down barriers

PUBLISHED: 13:55 23 November 2012 | UPDATED: 15:16 23 November 2012

(Front left) Fine art students Husna Lohiya and Zuleika Lebow with members of Three Faiths Forum Grace Attlee, left, Director Stephen Shasou and Holly Jones at Urban Dialogues, an inter-faith exhibition in Red Gallery, Hoxton.

(Front left) Fine art students Husna Lohiya and Zuleika Lebow with members of Three Faiths Forum Grace Attlee, left, Director Stephen Shasou and Holly Jones at Urban Dialogues, an inter-faith exhibition in Red Gallery, Hoxton.

Archant

Given recent turmoil in the Middle East, an exhibition in Shoreditch to promote friendship and understanding between people of different faiths seems very timely.

Organised by the Three Faiths Forum (3FF), an initiative set up 15 years ago by leaders from Muslim, Jewish and Christian communities, it aims to bridge the divide and address misunderstanding between people from different backgrounds.

Running for a fourth successive year, the Urban Dialogues exhibition is showcasing emerging art from across faith divides to stimulate discussion about art, belief and identity at the Red Gallery in Rivington Street.

The exhibition comprises solo artwork and multi-faith collaborations meditating on these themes.

A panel of experts from contemporary art gallery White Cube in Hoxton Square, Hoxton, art auction house Sotheby’s and King’s College shortlisted the work of 400 different artists down to 14.

3FF also commissioned three collaborative projects, including Spirituality in Motion, which highlights everyday repetitive rituals and the comfort people find in performing them, Our Tapestry, a patchwork of objects and ideas about faith and Make-up as Devotion, which uses the subject of make-up and adornment to discuss faith.

Marta Rocamora, 35, of Manor House, who was brought up Catholic and is one of three artists who worked on Spirituality in Motion, said: “It’s been a journey of self-reflection and has helped me see what spirituality means to me. It was interesting to work with people from other religious and cultural backgrounds.

“It’s all about emphasising the meeting point, not the deflections – about finding a method that would allow us to have individual freedom while sticking together. You realise that you’re much closer to each other than you think you are.”

Fellow collaborator Sedi Ghadiri, 28, of Dalston, who was raised Muslim and is now agnostic, said: “The collaboration has been fascinating and inspiring.

“It was great to work with the two other artists, who have different religious backgrounds, because we complemented each other in a really inspiring way.

“We also discovered similarities in our life journey together.”

The exhibition will also feature a Day of Play with games and storytelling on Sunday; and Female Voices, which features a programme of talks and activities for women only next Thursday.

Holly Jones, Urban Dialogues programme manager, said: “We are really interested in the way people interact with the artwork and how they interact with each other. The whole purpose of hosting events in parallel is to create an atmosphere where people are listening and engaging in dialogue, rather than debate where a person is right or wrong.”

The exhibition will run until December 1.

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