IIham (inspiration) was originally exhibited at the Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Qatar, as part of the Definitely Able conference that explored issues of disability and equal access to arts and culture in the Middle East. Curated by the British Council and Shape Arts, the Qatari exhibition showcased work by international and Qatar based artists. This exhibition features work by the four UK based artists from that show.

The exhibition gives us an insight into the practice of each artist and presents new works made in response to a period of residency in Doha, and exploration of the Museum of Islamic Art’s collections. Assembled from around the Islamic world, the Museum of Islamic Art’s collections represent developments in visual culture spanning three continents and 1,400 years of history. The diversity and breath of the collections, and the artistic excellence that they exemplify, have inspired these contemporary artists and their practice today.

Illham exhibition in Doha, Qatar.Illham exhibition in Doha.

The works of Jason Wilsher-Mills, Rachel Gadsen, Juan delGado and Omeima Mudawi-Rowlings demonstrate the considerable rewards to be gained by working towards an inspiring and inclusive arts sector, accessible to all. Such increased inclusivity helps to broaden and enrich our view of art, history and each other.

Ilham was curated by Ben Fredericks (Shape Arts) and Khalifa Al Obaidly (Msheireb Arts Centre), and was only made possible through the hard work of Tony Heaton OBE (Shape Arts) Lauren Buckley, Nadia El-Sebai, Sean Williams and Waseem Kotoub from the British Council, with sponsorship from SASOL.

Juan delGado
Rachel Gadsen
Omeima Mudawi-Rowlings
Jason Wilsher-Mills

Curated by:
Ben Fredericks (Shape Arts)

Orginal show curated by Ben Fredericks (Shape Arts), Lauren Buckley (British Council) and Khalifa Al Obaidly (Msheireb Arts Centre)

Read more about our artists' experiences in Doha at this link

British Council page reviewing the exhibition and Definitely Able conference at this link

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