Timelessness of the Church art exhibition dubai
Dubai-based Behnoode Foundation partners with Middle Eastern Artists from Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Algeria and the United Kingdom, and launched a capsule art exhibition called Timelessness of the Church to celebrate religious tolerance and spiritual unity. The exhibition happened this September 2023 at St. Barnabus Church in Pimlico, Central London in the City of Westminster.

‘Timelessness of a Church’ brings together works by an international milieu of artists from Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Algeria and the United Kingdom. As the founder of the Behnoode Foundation, Behnood Javaherpour, explains, “The selection of works explore the notion of the ‘church’ with its rich cultural significance – whether it is through architectural forms, spiritual symbolism, as a sanctuary or as a space of gathering for community, the exhibition interrogates the very space within which human connections are made, beliefs affirmed and meanings searched for.”

The sacral associations of the ‘church’ are explored in diverse ways by the artists in the exhibition. Some delve into the architectural aspects of churches, studying their grandeur or the emotions they evoke. Others focus on the symbolism associated with religious iconography, exploring the intersection of faith and art. Additionally, the show features works that reflect upon the role of the church and more widely spaces of congregation in communities and raise questions about its influence. 

The artworks have been selected for their ability to interact with the exhibition space. They may contrast or complement one another, considering the viewer to reflect on the different perspectives and interpretations of the ‘church’ theme. Each artwork adds its own unique voice to the conversation, resulting in a multi-layered and thought-provoking experience.

The diversity of artists and art-forms initiates cross-cultural dialogues and emphasizes the global significance of the theme. By showcasing the perspectives of artists from different backgrounds, the exhibition aims to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation for the complexities and universal aspects of the subject of ‘church’ as a subject.

A percentage of sale proceeds went to benefit the Behnoode Foundation.

Featured Artist Biographies

Mohammad el Rawas

Mohammad el Rawas, painter and printmaker, was born in Beirut, Lebanon in 1951. 

El Rawas graduated with a BA in painting in 1975 from the Institute of Fine Arts at the Lebanese University, but fled the country after the civil war broke out. From 1977-79 he worked as an art teacher at the Ecole Normale des Instituteurs, Rabat. In 1979 el Rawas returned to Beirut, and held his first solo exhibition. El Rawas enrolled at The Slade School of Fine Art, and graduated with an MA degree in printmaking in 1981. In 1981 he returned to Lebanon and started teaching at the Institute of Fine Arts in Beirut, a post he held till his resignation in March 2009. Mohammad el Rawas is currently living and working in Beirut.

The work of Mohammad El Rawas has been shown at numerous exhibitions and biennales, both in Lebanon and internationally, and has been collected by prestigious institutions, including, Sursock Museum, Beirut, Lebanon; National Museum of Modern Art, Baghdad, Iraq; British Museum, London, UK; Trondheim Kunstmuseum, Norway;  Sharjah Museum of Contemporary Arab Art, UAE and Darat al-Funun Amman, Jordan.

Steve Bicknell

Steve Bicknell is a self-taught sculptor who explores steel, clay and concrete from his studio in West Sussex. Experimental and collaborative in style, Bicknell often combines unusual materials and techniques. The artist also works with several foundries casting his work into bronzes available as fine art limited editions. His work is based on shape and form drawing his inspiration often from nature and human influence.

Patrick Altes

Patrick Altes is an artist of French/Spanish origins, whose work has been deeply informed by his own personal history. Born in Algeria, he has made a distinctive contribution to postcolonial discourse in his work and the emerging Franco-Algerian art movement. As a young adult, he lived in South Africa for two years under the apartheid, where he had his first-hand experience of a society based on discrimination, repression and deprivation of civil and political rights for a large part of the population. It deeply marked him and fuelled in him a sense for the politically, socially and humanly acceptable.

Amin Roshan

Amin Roshan is an Iranian Postwar & Contemporary artist who was born in 1982. Based in Tehran, he primarily works with silk screens in his practice, using crude oil in his designs. He began his artistic career as a cartoonist after having studied graphic design at Tehran University and at the University of Khuzestan, and produced cartoons for around a decade before turning to the printing techniques he had learnt at university. 

Jason Noushin

Jason Noushin is an Anglo-Iranian artist born in 1969, who now works and lives in Connecticut. Numerous key galleries and museums such as WAAM, Woodstock Artist Association & Museum have featured his work in the past. 

Mostafa Darehbaghi

Mostafa Darehbaghi was born in 1966 in Tehran, Iran, where he developed a profound appreciation of art at an early age. The intervening prolific years have yielded lots of solo and group exhibitions throughout Iran, Dubai, US, Sweden, India, Belgium, Cyprus, and Croatia. Mostafa has attained many prestigious awards and honors. His works are permanently displayed in prominent public and private collections including Carnegie Hall New York, Georgian Bank of Atlanta, Alliance Française of Atlanta, The Armory Show New York, Sidney Marcus Foundation (Home Depot founded) in Atlanta, Consulate of France in Atlanta, Tehran Museum of Modern Art, Embassy of Italy in Tehran, Embassy of Brazil in Tehran and in a private dwelling on The World Dubai. He is currently based in Atlanta, USA and Tehran.

Jackson Graves

Jackson Graves is a multidisciplinary artist, practicing design and fine art. His work spans across multiple mediums including the three dimensional. A technical element from his background in architecture, meets his interest in horses and showjumping in his newest collection titled ‘representational space’.

For more information, please visit https://www.janetradyfineart.com.