Art installation at minster

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An exhibition of artwork created during in workshops held over the last year will go on display next month at Dewsbury Minster.

The workshops, led by internationally-exhibited and Dewsbury-based artist Saba Rifat, encouraged participants to create geometric paper bricks, which were inspired by patterns and colours featured in the stained glass windows at St John’s Church in Dewsbury Moor.

Saba said: “Working closely with different members of my community over the past 12 months has given me a glimpse into the fascinating lives of those who live around me.

“The workshops have enabled those who may be a little reluctant to show their creative side, to contribute to a project which reflects the spirit and diversity of Dewsbury.

“We are lucky enough to have the beautiful St John’s Church on our doorstep, the geometric designs of the stained glass windows echo traditional Islamic patterns and these provided the inspiration for the artworks.

“I hope that the participants involved in the project are now enthused to explore more local architecture and view shapes with a renewed perspective.”

The installation will be held May 14 and there will be a range of creative activities available on the day, including geometric art, henna painting, badge making and screen printing.

The event will also include a traditional drum performance and a guided history tour of the minster.

The workshops were designed in partnership with the Near Neighbours project, an initiative that aims to build community relationships in areas that are religiously and ethnically diverse to improve their local area through collaborative schemes.

Funded by a grant from the Church Urban Fund, Saba Rifat has been working alongside the Rev Kathy Robertson from St John’s to give the workshops a basis to bring the diverse communities of Dewsbury together.

Saba’s work is work is inspired by nature, science, spirituality and cultural Islamic heritage.

In 2001 she completed an MA in visual Islamic and traditional art at HRH Prince Charles Traditional School of Arts in London and, last year, exhibited her work in Malaysia. She is the author of Geometric Skies, a colouring activity book which was released in November.