26 May 2023

Tramway presents Jala Wahid’s first institutional solo exhibition in Scotland

A gold and pink undulating abstract sculpture, pictured in close up
Jala Wahid, Conflagration (installation view), BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead. Photo: Rob Harris © 2022 BALTIC

Preview: Friday June 23, 7pm to 9pm
Exhibition runs until 10th September 2023

Announcing the launch of our latest exhibition Conflagration – artist Jala Wahid’s first institutional solo exhibition in Scotland – with a preview on Friday 23 June. 

Jala Wahid makes work that touches on urgent issues in relation to identity, nationhood, diasporic living in the UK, intergenerational connections and cultural traditions. She considers how politics and poetic expression interweave. Wahid looks to embody this intertwining in her work by exploring its urgency, defiance, euphoria and violence to suggest ways of being that challenge fixed definitions of identity. Conflagration presents a new body of work exploring the relationship between Britain and Kurdistan, through the lens of oil. The installation approaches oil as the symbolic material through which nationalism, statelessness, colonialism and Kurdish identity are explored. It is grounded in the discovery of the Baba Gurgur oil well, following a time during which Britain and France politically occupied Mesopotamia, culminating in the formation of new nation states in the region’s oil resources.

In Conflagration, Wahid invites us to step into a landscape conceived as an inferno. It is unclear whether we’re beneath the ground in an oil well, amidst the burning refineries, or within columns of smoke resulting from gushers or oil fires during conflict and war.

Jala Wahid: Conflagration has been co-commissioned by TRAMWAY and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art. The Tramway exhibition is funded by Creative Scotland

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