No.1054 Arpeggio, 2021
Commissioned for Creative Folkestone Triennial 2021in partnership with Folkestone and Hythe District Council.
One of the most astonishing artworks to be included in the Folkestone Triennial will be Rana Begum’s No. 1054 Arpeggio. The Council’s decision to refurbish more than 100 beach huts stretched along Folkestone’s sea front at the base of the Leas Cliff presented a challenging and idiosyncratic opportunity for a major artistic statement. Rana Begum’s response to the challenge seems like an explosive - but tautly orchestrated - blossoming of her studio practice and its concern with geometry, colour and light. Her superimposed, graduated colour scheme, and the insistent rhythm of her trademark chevron design, have turned a half-mile marching rank of beach huts into notes of colour on a keyboard, certainly one of the largest and most joyful artworks in the country.
Rana Begum distils spatial and visual experience into ordered form, blurring the boundaries between sculpture, painting and architecture. Her visual language draws from the urban landscape as well as geometric patterns from traditional Islamic art and architecture. Light is fundamental to her process. Begum’s works absorb and reflect varied densities of light to produce an experience for the viewer that is both temporal and sensorial.
Born in Bangladesh in 1977, Rana Begum lives and works in London. In 1999, Begum graduated with a BA in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art and Design and, in 2002, gained an MFA in Painting from Slade School of Fine Art. Exhibitions include: Is This Tomorrow?, Whitechapel Gallery (2019), Space, Light & Colour, Djanogly Gallery (2018), Solo show, TATE St Ives (2018), Actions, Kettle’s Yard (2018), Women to Watch: Heavy Metal, NMWA Washington (2018), curated Occasional Geometries, Yorkshire Sculpture Park (2017), Space Light Colour, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich (2017), Tribute to Sol Lewitt, Gemeente Museum Den Haag (2016), Flatland/Narrative, MRAC Serignan (2016), The Space Between, Parasol Unit (2016), 11th Gwangju Biennale, Korea (2016), Geometries of Difference, Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, New York, USA (2015), Solo Project, Dhaka Art Summit, Bangladesh (2014 & 2020).
Rana Begum, No.1054 Arpeggio, commissioned for Creative Folkestone Triennial 2021 in partnership with Folkestone & Hythe District Council. Photos by Tom Bishop and Thierry Bal
Portrait of Ranna Begum by Anne Purkiss