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New exhibit on show on mezzanine floor

Posted by Trevor
February 21, 2012 in Community

Acclaimed artist and sculptor Idris Khan is exhibiting his latest piece on the mezzanine floor of the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester.

Entitled ‘The Devil’s Wall’, the installation debuted in spring 2011 in New York and is intended to represent rituals and traditions of the Islamic Hajj pilgrimage. The sculpture is formed by three black painted metal cylinders with lines of Arabic text from the Quran engraved alongside and overlapping lines of English text translation and disappearing into a vortex at the centre.

The three cylinders symbolise the three walls representing the devil at which pilgrims ritually throw seven stones to commemorate the suffering of Ibrahim when proving his devotion to Allah. The theme of the sculpture is continued with a set of seven line drawings chosen from a total of 21, entitled ‘21 Stones’.

The artist’s intention is to blend personal thoughts with sacred texts, combining secular and religious ideas, designed to create the feeling of a circular chant or mantra and emphasise his Islamic heritage.

The Whitworth Art Gallery was opened as The Whitworth Institute and Park in 1908 and became affiliated with the University of Manchester in 1958. The Mezzanine Court was constructed in the centre of the building and opened in 1995 for the express purpose of exhibiting sculptures and large pieces of installation art.

Both the mezzanine floor itself and the exhibits on show have attracted positive attention, with the architecture winning a regional award from RIBA while the art exhibits had over 170,000 visitors in 2010.

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