A personal account, by Saleem. A. Quadri MBE.

From deep within me, my immediate environment, my country of abode and the countries I have visited have shaped my visual vocabulary. They mould, colour, contribute, interact and inspire in some mysterious and immeasurable way in my journey to discover my innermost visual voice. On this journey, the media I employ are drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, ceramics, design, and making unique, manuscript books and limited-edition hand-made books.

Moreover, during my travels - particularly in India – I was fortunate to encounter works of extraordinary quality from artists of documentary and living traditions. The artists are unrecognised heroes already in their lifetime – often labouring without any incentives or rewards, other than the satisfaction and knowledge of working in harmony within their cultures.

Mahatma Gandhi recognised and honoured these traditions when he wrote “our people have inherited great talents. Our way of life is imbued with the sense of beauty. Our women paint on the walls naturally. Our craftsmen know how to make with their hands everything that we have in India. If we have faith in them, they can perform miracles.”

In my secondary role as a curator, which I have described below, I try to bring these impressive and uniquely modest artists and their work - inimitable gifts to our world’s cultural heritage – to a wider International audience. For me, this is also part of the essence of what I understand by ‘Drawing into Discovery’.

Formative influences

Both my mother and father nurtured, shaped and moulded the consciousness of my mind as a youth. Indeed, I inherited from them crucial aspects of my urge to create: from my mother, an amateur painter (see images: 1-1956; 2-1957), the urge to express myself in visual language; from my father, a surgeon with a passion for poetry, music and literature, the sense of curiosity which drives me to observe and explore the visible world with patience, restraint and perseverance. My earliest experiences of travel were with my parents in the state of Andhra Pradesh. I remember so clearly the impression made on a child’s mind of the excitement of encountering all the birds and wild animals in the dense and deep forests of that central Indian state, and of my utter astonishment at seeing a tiger in the wild. It was then that the night-time sounds and symphonies of the unforgettable and mysterious jungle were grooved forever in my ears. I remember, too, going to bed under the open sky in Hyderabad, the city of my birth, and being struck with sheer awe at the shimmering of the night skies of summer. I can still clearly recall the extraordinary and exquisite canopy of stars, twinkling and carpeting the visible universe. From time to time, a shooting star with its bright tail would illuminate the sky for a second or two, before it was swallowed up again by the darkness. Memories of the sights, smells, songs, and above all the people of my city, which soaked deep into my soul, are woven into the core of my being. My greatest inspiration, however, derived from watching my dear mother paint on circular vinyl records in oil paints, from listening to live sitar and Sufi music in social gatherings both secular and religious, and from flying kites of delightful designs and colours (images). Now that I look back, I can see that these were the most lasting impressions of my youth that have remained embedded in my mind and heart.


Arriving in England by air at Heathrow Airport on a sunny afternoon in March 1966, via a brief stopover in Moscow, where I had seen snow for the first time in my life, I held youthful hopes of fresh discoveries new opportunities and the possibility of sharing cultures. Thus I arrived in Nuneaton in Warwickshire, and soon after was enrolled at Manor Park Grammar School. Three years later I entered the sculpture department at Birmingham College of Art. It proved to be a veritable baptism of fire in more ways than one. The shock was not only a cultural one, but also a personal one. I completed my first sculpture in 1969 (image 0000), but it was ‘Space Lattice’ which won me the ‘Young Sculptor of the Year Award’ (image 0000), offered by the Sunday Telegraph Magazine, in the following year. These were among the first steps on my journey of visual exploration, but I was also learning how one gradually matures through one’s own deep yearning, curiosity, diligence, and powers of discovery to comprehend the nature and essence of the world’s living cultures. I began to surprise myself by observing the way in which my own visual vocabulary was beginning to develop; specifically, for example, in the series ‘Parisians’ 1970 (images 0000-00), which were my earliest pen and ink works on paper. Drawing for me is the oxygen and engine of my concepts. It has nurtured and nourished my ideas throughout my creative life and provided a deep fountain of belief. The early works on paper (1970–75) are analogous to alphabets which are trying to make words (images 0000-00).

Encouragement from family and friends

The unwavering, selfless support and endorsement from my parents have played a fundamental and positive role in my creative life. Early on in my art education, my father, observing me at work, had said to me: “Saleem, you are even luckier than I am”. I was very surprised, because he is a self-made man who had qualified as a surgeon in the 1930’s. With the aid of a pre-Independence Hyderabad state scholarship, he went on to study post-graduate medicine at English and Scottish Universities (he was eventually to obtain five degrees in medicine). Apart from being a highly successful surgeon, he was also very active in his social and spiritual life. “How,” I asked “could I be luckier?” He replied: “You have your true vocation, and you might even make a living from it”. This was indeed that priceless ‘moment of grace’ which gave immeasurable strength to my inner self-confidence. I also remember with gratitude the encouragement and support given to me by my teachers of that time; John Checkett

at Manor Park Grammar School; Bill Dally, Peter Grieves and Professor George Noszlopy at Birmingham College of Art; Philip Rawson and the Professors Peter de Francia and Bernard Meadows at the Royal College of Art.


Since childhood, travel has been a constant companion of my life’s journey, both physically and metaphorically. Travelling has provided a unique
first-hand perception of world cultures which has nourished my inner self and my spiritual growth. My first venture abroad took me to Morocco in 1972, but since graduating from the Royal College of Art my burning desire and ambition had been to embark on an extensive travel programme in the Asian sub-continent of India and Pakistan, with a brief stopover in Cairo, which I managed in 1975-76. I made two extensive and very fruitful trips to Italy in 1978 and 1981, as well as a short visit to Tunisia in 1979. In 1981, too, at the invitation of my parents, I accompanied them on a world trip, visiting the United States of America, the Far East and the Asian sub-continent. This was, for me, a ‘journey of all journeys’. As a young adult I began to know my parents and our cultural heritage in the intimacy of shared experience, memories, thoughts, travel and time.

Then in 1985-86, I was able to visit Bangladesh, to explore further the heritage of my sub-continents culture. These travels, turned out to be a profound experience and a revelation; since it was there that I found a new road to my inner self. For me, what I chose to call those ‘oceans of oral and living cultures’ of the sub-continent - its history, its people, its art and the surrounding environment - were all laid out in front of me. Immersing myself in those ‘oceans’, the nuts and bolts of my visual language, which I now draw upon in my photography, works on paper and painting, which are summed up in my all-encompassing visual-philosophical idea, ‘Drawing into Discovery’. I have found in my wife Dr.Zenobia. N. Shah, a soul mate. Travelling together continues to be a shared passion, revealing and enriching our mutual interests and predilections.

Early Work

On returning to England from the Asian sub-continent in 1976, with a broader acquaintance and a more vigorous awareness of the strengths of my cultural heritage, I was able to continue the exploration of the Inferno of Dante’s ‘The Divine Comedy’, begun in the previous year, with refreshed insights and energy. By 1981 I had completed more than five hundred small-scale works on paper, some of which had already found their way into the Government’s Art Collection in 1977. It was during this period that the visual concept of a unique shape or format for each individual composition matured into a passion of mine. I imagined that in Dante’s Inferno, if fire were to touch anything, it would leave its mark. Hence the torn and scorched edges in each work - each with its particular format, devised to reinforce the narrative moment. These particular visual forms and formats which emerged during this period are central to the oeuvre that followed, and indeed they continue to play a role in my work today. In 1981, I was fortunate to be selected by the poet/painter Adrian Henri to participate in the Arts Council’s Serpentine Gallery Summer Show 2, in London, where for the first time over one hundred of my works on Dante’s Inferno were exhibited.

New Formats


From 1982 onwards, the size and format of most of my paintings grew considerably, sometimes producing new concepts and new shapes, challenging traditional formats with voids, and exploring the third dimension. I felt that the scale of each work often demanded different techniques to best express my visual ideas, hence the introduction, at this stage, of muslin on paper (images; studio installation). Some paintings of this period - ‘Garden of Expectation’ 1985–86, ‘Enchantments of Sky, Sea and Earth’ 1986, ‘Caravan of Contenders’ 1984–86,

‘Harbour of Intimacy’ 1986, ‘Squaring the Circle’ 1986–89, ‘World of Wonders’ 1986–87, ‘Carpet of Contemplation’ 1987–88, ‘Splendour of Multiplicity’ 1987–88, ‘Chorus of Heavenly Spirits’ 1987–88 (images) - formed the core of my exhibition of new work at the Winchester Art Gallery

in 1987 (image), organised by John Gillett and Alison Redwood. Following that exhibition, some of the paintings from that period have been reworked.

Since 1990, all my paintings have been on a versatile wood support, which stands half an inch away from the wall. This device articulates and enhances my new concepts of ‘volumetric’ and of ‘pregnant space’, as the paintings appear to float away from the wall surface, adding a third dimension to my pictorial language. The earliest of the oil paintings on wood are ‘Emblem of Ecstasy’ and ‘Silence before the Storm’ of 1990 (image). Both are contemplative in concept, using what I have termed ‘pregnant space’ as an iconic motif or technique. Along with my parallel concept of ‘volumetric space’, almost all my paintings of the 1990’s make use of these two motifs or techniques, which appear central to my work of that period. In ‘Birds of Breath’ 1991-92, (image), the ‘cut out’ birds are not represented visually, but rather through the ‘pregnant’ or full/empty space that their form occupies. Moreover, each bird is so carved and cut out that one sees them from different angles, thus suggesting their ‘volumetric space’. For me, these two motifs or techniques arose out of the continuing 20th century fascination with the exploration of space, both in the framework of making contemporary works of art, and of the growing obsession with interplanetary dimensions.

In my work, I imagine these continuously shifting and changing gravity-free vantage points as analogous to the image of the floating thread ball

seen unwinding itself perpetually in 360 degrees. From this, I conceived the notion of ‘Geometry without Gravity’ as a recurrent leitmotif in my work, while at the same time attempting to invent a fresh and unique format, size and surface texture for each painting. This leitmotif was inspired by the dramatic images of man’s exploration of space beyond our planet, showing the exquisite grace, beauty and weightlessness of a human body in constant dynamics. To me, grappling – however humbly – with these techniques mirrors that process of momentous

Auseinandersetzung with Cézanne’s visionary late paintings, with their patterning of paint on the flat canvas to depict the subject observed, which led Braque and Picasso to invent Cubism, with its assembling of multiple vantage points circling the subject observed into an autonomous, quasi-abstract composition.

I am particularly concerned in questioning two of the fundamental techniques in the craft of depiction: the vanishing point perspective which uses shadows in Western art and Eastern art’s creation of shadow less overlapping space. My endeavours in this respect can be seen in ‘Towards Transfiguration’ 1990–96, ‘Bathers’ 1993, ‘Metamorphoses’ 1993, ‘Changeable Garden 1992, ‘Vessel of Vitality’ 1993–96, ‘Whispering Wings’ 1990–95, ‘Mother of Battles [Modern Times]’ 1990–94, ‘Guardians of the Garden’ 1993–97 and ‘Landscape of Longing 1996–99, (images).

‘Square and Secrets’ 1994–96, with its variable measurements, is the first work which has unique interchangeable formats in the same painting



Since 1999, I have been working mainly on paper and unique books - ‘Sensual Songs’ is the first series of unique works on paper. Inspired by the long avenues of New York and the extraordinary spirit of that cosmopolitan city, works in horizontal but panoramic format started to emerge called ‘Sensual Songs of Sacred Space’. As with the paintings, each work on paper commands its own format and unique, textured surface. The

female form is the principal muse of ‘Sensual Songs’ and ‘Sensual Songs of Sacred Space’, exhibiting fragments of her form - appearing and disappearing - as she dances through the panoramic horizon in layers of colour and texture (images). My interest in artists’ books actually dates back to 1974, when I began work on the Inferno of Dante’s ‘The Divine Comedy’, during which I made 5 books (each measuring 76 x 112 cm when laid open, in an edition of 4; plus one Artist’s Proof) containing six hand-coloured etchings and 50 manuscript pages. This was followed by ‘Football Players’ in 1981, a celebration of the male human form (measuring 30 x 42 cm when laid open, brush and black gouache ) and, more recently, ‘Angels’ 1999-2000, a small Leporello (measuring 12 x 100 cm when laid open, brush and cobalt blue gouache. These are some of the unique books, amongst others.

The unique work’s “Sensual Songs” and “Sensual Songs of Sacred Space” has been followed by three manuscript hand-made books: “Invocations”, “Caressing with the Constellations” and “Geometry without Gravity”, each measuring 32 x 64cm when laid open. The first consists of 50 double-page compositions on the name Allah (God) in the Arabic script, following the tradition of Islamic calligraphers elaborating the Holy Name into evocative graphic compositions for devotional contemplation. This book is dedicated to the memory of the innocent victims of 9/11, and of all victims of violence in the world today. Since January 2002 I have been working on ‘Caressing with the Constellations’, using the technical device of ‘pregnant’ space, described above (images): 40 double-page compositions consisting of figurative and abstract forms – interacting, floating and flowering into shapes made real by their literal presence or absence, and celebrating the power of artistic fantasy. In March 2003 I began work on the third book, ‘Geometry without Gravity’, and on associated individual works on paper (images), whose concept I have described above.


This medium has interested me since my student days both for its documentary and creative possibilities. I had met the late John Ansty, then editor of the Telegraph Magazine which had given me one of the ‘Sculptor of the Year Award’, mentioned above, in 1970. Thanks to this enlightened and generous soul who sponsored me with film (transparencies) for over a decade, I began to assemble my own archive of images of living cultures, sculptures, portraits, architecture, crafts, nature, animals, birds, clouds and festivals - celebrating wonders of this world both natural and man-made (images). Since the late 1980’s I have produced the occasional limited edition of photographs from my archive, signed and numbered 1 to 4 - as much for gifts to friends as for sale at exhibitions. For me, the camera serves as a tool to capture the magic of an instant encountered by chance, amongst the variety that different cultures constantly present to the attentive eye. It is also an invaluable aid to my pursuit of self-education, self-discovery and self-discipline. (see my statement on photography)


I find in the hand-sculpted clay of my ceramic works an overflowing fountain of forms, almost unlimited in its sculptural possibilities. The clay offers an ideal medium to render my notion of ‘pregnant’ space as a visual language into the third dimension. Furthermore, the metamorphoses of ceramic glazes during firing into magical combinations of colour patterns can add a further dimension to each sculptural form, adding the challenge of controlling the accidents inherent in the firing process (images). I love to explore the chance effects of the hollows of ‘pregnant’ space in my ceramic works with candlelight. The shimmering forms created on the adjoining walls produce an enchanting and expressive dance of light and shadow delicately unfolding outside the control of its creator.

Public Commissions

In the 1990’s I undertook two major site-specific commissions; ‘Garden of Grace’ 1995-96 for Birmingham Central Library, and ‘Essence of Oldham’ 1998 for that town’s 150th anniversary of its charter. The first, measuring four metres in diameter, took as its theme humanity’s aspirations towards beauty, weaving semi-abstract and geometrical forms with generalised bird forms viewed from different angles. These bird forms interact to create rectangular, square and circular shapes, these last echoing the overall shape of the work. In most of my paintings, I use birds as emblems of humanity’s aspirations. In ‘Garden of Grace’ these birds also articulate my concept of ‘Geometry without Gravity’ -

simultaneous views from multiple vantage points in space without gravity. The second, measuring three by four metres, was commissioned by Oldham Museum, and melded a variety of colours, forms and textures to depict the people, industry, history, flora and fauna of the town and its surroundings.


Many people have played an invaluable role in nurturing my creativity, besides my parents. There are those private individuals who, through their generosity of spirit and dedication, collect artists’ work and in various ways help them to grow. Artists do remember, but they do not always articulate, their gratitude to such individuals. To mention just a few - E Alkazi, Moira Elias, Elizabeth Esteve, Uoki Forinton, Gylla Godwin, Marius & Camilla Hague, Tove Kijewski, Donald Mark, Professor Bernard Meadows, Professor George Noszlopy, Ann and John Pare, Annie Robinson , Sara Safiullah, Kiki & Anwar Siddiqi and Philip Wright - I am very grateful to them all, as well as to others too numerous to name, who have shown an interest and appreciation of my work.


On an Arts Council Bursary, I visited Rajkot in December 1992. The place of my rediscovery, of Kanu Gandhi’s (1917-1986) photographs, taken between, 1938-1946. In collaboration with Deirdre Figueiredo, of Leicester Museum; that “Kanu Gandhi’s Mahatma” found a wider International audience. Kanu Gandhi was a self-taught and sensitive photographer with a compassionate eye for his subject Mahatma Gandhi, his grand uncle. His images reveal the “Free India Movement” in the making. Twenty of the one hundred images are now being shown at the “Noorderlicht Photo Festival 2006” (September 8th-October 26th, 2006) in Groningen, Netherlands. (Images)

I have prepared, my second curatorial project; an exhibition of 50 framed works on paper of “Madhubani” (Forest of Honey)/”Mithila Paintings” by woman painters from Bihar State in India. This is five thousand year old tradition of exquisite pen/stick and ink/colour works, of various sizes and themes including devotional imagery, birth, marriage and life. Traditionally women have painted these works on the walls of there homes, both inside and outside. Since 1960’s, they started painting on paper; initially the materials provided by the All India Handicraft Board, to elevate famine and drought in the region during this period. It is now available for exhibition loan/display.

© Saleem. Arif. Quadri. MBE. Artist/Curator lives in London.


Some statements by other artists which have particular resonance for me:

"The gouache de coupe technique literally gives me a great passion for painting, because I believe that by trying something completely new, I have found and pinned down one of the major plastic aspirations of our time. It seems to me that in creating these coloured cut outs I am anticipating the future. But I know that it will be a very long time before anyone realises the extent to which what I am doing is in harmony with the future”

Henri Matisse (1869-1954).

“We can only perceive space when we break free from the Earth”

Kasimir Malevich (1878-1935).

“I am a passenger on the spaceship Earth”

Richard Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983).

“The main thing wrong with painting is that it is a rectangular plane placed flat against the wall. A rectangle is a shape itself, it is obviously the whole shape; it determines and limits the arrangement of whatever is on or inside of it”

“Actual space is intrinsically more powerful and specific than paint on a flat surface”

Donald Judd (1928 – 1994).

Curriculum Vitae


1949 Born Hyderabad, India
69/72 Dip. Birmingham College of Art
72/75 MA, Royal College of Art


1982 “Images from Dantes Inferno” Spectro Arts Workshop, Newcastle upon Tyne

1983 “Images from Dantes Inferno” Midlands Group Nottingham

1984 “Images from Dantes Inferno” Kent University Gallery, Canterbury

1984 “Images from Dantes Inferno”, Art Heritage Gallery, New Delhi, India

1985 “Images from Dantes Inferno” Cymroza Art Gallery, Mumbai, India

1985 “Images from Dantes Inferno” British Council Division Gallery, Calcutta, India

1985 “Images from Dantes Inferno” Sarala Art Gallery, Chennai, India

86/87 Garden of Expectation” Ipswich Museum & Winchester Gallery

1987 Garden of Expectation” Axiom Gallery, Cheltenham

1988 Garden of Expectation” Plymouth Arts Centre, Plymouth

1988 “Shapes in Space” - Anderson O’Day Gallery, London

1991 “A Changeable Garden” Southern Arts Touring Exhibition Service

1991 “Paintings 1986-1991” New Port Museum and Art Gallery Gwent

1991 “Paintings 1986-1991” Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne

1991 “Paintings 1986-1991” Cleveland Gallery, Middlesborough

1992 “Carpet of Contemplation” South Hill Park, Bracknell

1993 “Birds of Breath” Midland Art Centre, Birmingham

1994 “Birds of Breath” The Gallery Downstairs, Burnley

1996 “Birds of Blessing” Business Web Gallery, 50th Anniversary, Edinburgh Festival

1997 “Enthusiasm is My Horse” (Prints 1974-97), Luton Central Library Gallery

1997 Garden of Grace”, Arks Gallery, London

1999 “Retrospective 1969-99” Open Studio, London

2000 “Drawing into Discovery” (Photographs 1990-99), the Scene Gallery, New York

2003 “Sensual Songs of Sacred Space” The Art Exchange Gallery, Nottingham

2006 “Geometry without Gravity”, Shrishti Art Gallery, Hyderabad, India.


1970 “Young Contemporaries”, Royal Academy, London
73/77 “First and Third International Beinnale”, Durham
1978 “Midlands View”, Touring Exhibition
1981 “Serpentine Gallery Summer Show 11”, London
1982 “Hayward Annual”, London and Edinburgh
1983 “International Print Beinnale”, Kanagaawa, Japan, London
1985 “Group Show” Edward Totah Gallery, London
1986 “From Two Worlds”, Whitechapel Gallery, London and Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh
1987 “Athena Arts Award”, London
1987 “Whitechapel Open”, Whitechapel Gallery, London
1987 “On a Plate” Serpentine Gallery, London
1987 “Critics Choice No 5” Selected by Paul Overy, Air Gallery, London
1988 “Craven Images” Harris Museum, Preston
1988 “Gallery Chemould 25th Anniversary”, Mumbai, India.
1988 “Eight Contemporary British Artists”, Gallery Sapet, France
1988 “Figuring Out the Eighties” Laing Art Gallery, New Castle upon Tyne
1989 “Whitechapel Open” Whitechapel Gallery, London
1989 “Ways of Seeing” Mostyn Art Gallery, Llandudno, Wales
89/90 “The Other Story” Hayward Gallery, London, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Wolverhampton

and Corner house, Manchester.
1990 “The South of the World” Gallery Civica D’Arte Contemporanea, Marsala, Sicily
1991 “Surface and Symbols” Gallery K, London and Gallery Gammeslstrand, Copenhagen, Denmark
1992 “Canges-sur Mer International Exhibition” France (British Council)
1993 “Bordless Prints” Rochdale Art Gallery, Rochdale
1993 “Moving Into View” Art Council Collection, Royal Festival Hall, London
1993 “East Wing Collection 1993” Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, London
96/97 “The 8th Mostyn Open” Mostyn Art Gallery, Llandudno, Wales
1997 “Art 97” Montpelier Sandelson Gallery, London
1998 “Alternative Spaces” Harris Museum, Preston
1999 “150th Anniversary Charter” Oldham Museum and Art Gallery, Oldham
2000 “Cultural Ties” Jariwala/Westzone Gallery, London
2001 “Group Show” The Scene Art Gallery, New York, USA


“Serpentine Gallery Summer Show II” catalogue, text by Adrian Henri and Professor George T. Noszlopy, Arts Council of Great Britain 1981

“Images from Dante’s Inferno”, by Saleem Arif Quadri, catalogue text by Philip Wright and Carol Jones, Midland Group, Nottingham 1982

“The Sprit of Tomorrow” artist interviewed by Aditi De, Indian Express, Chennai, India, May 1985

“From Two Worlds” catalogue text by Adeda Solank, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London 1986

“Garden of Expectation”, catalogue text by John Gillet, Professor George T Noszlopy and Alison Redwood, Ipswich Museum and Winchester Gallery, 1986

“Eight British Artists” catalogue text by Michael Archer, Gallery Sapet, Valance, France, 1988

“Arts Review” Mary Rose Beaumont, November 18th, 1988

“Figuring Out the Eighties” catalogue text by Tony Godfrey Laing, Art Gallery, 1988

“Two Artists from Elsewhere”, Jonathan Green, Tattler Magazine, December, 1989

“The Other Story” catalogue text by Rasheed Araeen, Hayward Gallery, London 1989

“A Celebration of Nature” the paintings of Saleem Arif unpublished thesis by Barbara Leigh, Christies Education Department, 1990

“Surface and Symbols” catalogue text by David Cohen, Gallery K, London and Gammelstrand, Copenhagen, 1991

“Paintings by Saleem Arif” catalogue text by Tony Godfrey, Newport Museum and Laing Gallery, ‘91

“Artist Review” Helga Prosser, 31st March, 1991

“Artist Statement” International Exhibition of Paintings, Cagnes-sur-Mer, France (British Council) ‘92

“Seed of Celebration, Moment of Grace” text by Dr Sarah Wilson, Arts and the Islamic World Issue No 24, January, 1994

Garden of Grace” catalogue text by Mary Rose Beaumont, ARKS Gallery, London, 1997

“The Art of Saleem Arif” Sue Hubbard, Third Text Issue No 34, 1997

“Cultural Ties” catalogue text by Kapil Jariwala, West Zone Publishing, London 2000

“Artists Statement on Photography”, September, 2000, the Scene Gallery, New York

“Landscape of Longing”, Tate Gallery website text by Imogen Cornwall-Jones, Nov, 2001.

“Editorial and Opinion” by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, the Independent, 17 March 2003

“Drawing into Discovery”, website statement May 2003, updated October 2006

“Visual Identity”, interview – The Hindu Group Publication, India, 23rd September 2003

“Geometry without Gravity” Artist Statement June 2004, updated February 2006

"The Trouble with Islamic Art” Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, the Independent, Arts Review, Oct 6,’06

“Geometry without Gravity”, catalogue, Shrishti Art Gallery, Hyderabad, India, December’06.


1971 “Young Sculptor of the Year” (prize-winner) Sunday Telegraph Magazine
1982 “Italian Government Bursary”, Florence
1984 “British Council Award” (to exhibit work in India)
1989 “David Villiers Foundation” travel award to Turkey and Spain.
1992 “Arts Council of Great Britain Award” (to research exhibitions from India)


Government Art Collection, London

Ipswich Museum, Ipswich

Arts Council of England

Cleveland Gallery, Middlesbrough

Manchester City Art Gallery, Manchester

Hounslow Central Library, London

Birmingham City Art Gallery and Museum, Birmingham

Birmingham Central Library, Birmingham

Cartwright Hall, Bradford Museum and Art Gallery, Bradford

Harris Museum, Preston

Metropolitan Borough of Oldham, Oldham

Tate Britain, London


1988 “Oasis” Hounslow Central Library, co-ordinated by Leslie Green, Public Arts Trust London

1990 “Prudential Trophy Award”, Designed for the Arts Council

1992 “Drawing Into Discovery” Meghraj Plc, London, co-ordinated by Gallery K, London

95/96 “Garden of Grace” Birmingham Central Library, co-ordinated by PACA

1998 “Essence of Oldham” Oldham Museum & Art Gallery, Oldham, co-ordinated by Alnoor Mitha

2000 “Cultural Ties” Tie Design, co-ordinated by Kapil Jariwala/West Zone Publishing


“A Garden Perpetually in Bloom” Video by Diana Bailey, Nottingham City Council, 1989

“Believing People” Lyne Lees Television, Newcastle upon Lyne, 1991

“The Arts” BBC 2, January 1994

Islam in Britain” Foreign and Commonwealth Office, London 1999

“New Brit Art” BBC Radio 4, March 17, 2003, presented by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown

Geometry without Gravity”, Doordashan National TV, Interview, New Delhi, India, Jan5,’07.


Mahatma” initiated and curated touring exhibition in association with Leicester Museum and Art Gallery, Leicester (1995-96), catalogue published.

“Kanu Gandhi’s Mahatma” exhibition continues independently at various venues since 1997, catalogue text by Saleem Arif Quadri (2002) “Apna Arts”, Nottingham, UK.

“The Mahatma as his Mus

"Mahatma As His Muse" by Aditi De, the Hindu Magazine, Bangalore, India 13th May, 2005.
“Madhubani (‘Forest of Honey’)/ Mithila Paintings” exhibition of works on paper by the women artists of Mithila, Bihar, India.
"An(other) Story” folk and tribal arts from India, co-curated by David S Thomas and Saleem A Quadri MBE, at the New Art Exchange Gallery, Nottingham, 2009.


Awarded, MBE, June 14th, 2008; DACS, London.


“Oasis”,Hounslow Central Library, Hounslow, London, 152.50cm by 305cm wide.
“Garden of Grace", Central Library, Birmingham, 442 cm diameter and 12 cm depth.


Google Search: Saleem Arif Quadri


www.tate.org.uk (Collections A-Z - Q for Quadri)


Works are for sale. Moreover, site specific, private and public commissions – both small and large are welcomed and seriously considered. Inquiries via e-mail: saleemaquadri@hotmail.com

Updated: January '10.
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