ZELLIJ / الزليج
Zellij or Zellige is a term used for the intricate mosaic tilework characteristic of Moroccan architecture. Zellij is comprised of many small parts coming together to make the whole.
ZELLIJ ARTS is an artist led project founded in 2016 by artist and curator Elizabeth Kwant (MA Fine Art Edinburgh University/ Edinburgh College of Art). ZELLIJ ARTS promotes the work of emerging artists working trans-nationally across geographic borders from the Middle East, Africa, Asia and diaspora. For the past two years we have partnered with The Alexandria Library, a multi- cultural bookshop in the heart of Manchester's famous Curry Mile where we operate a regular programme of temporary exhibitions and events connecting with the multi-cultural communities of Manchester.
Over the past two years we have featured work by local and international artists: Saima Rasheed (UK/ Pakistan), Mai Al Shazly (Egypt), Lesley Halliwell (UK), Fatemeh Takht Keshian (Iran/ UK), Lucinda May (UK), Anjum Malik (Pakistan/ UK), George Sfougaras (Greece/ UK), Saffina Bhatti (Pakistan/ UK), Lori K. Gordon (Morocco/ USA), Rachel Pearsey (USA/ Morocco), Hazel Burns (UAE), Amang Mardokhy (Kurdistan/UK), Ashleigh Beattie (UK/ Zimbabwe), Ahmed ElHassan (UK/ Sudan), and Mohamad Khayata (Syria). We have forged partnerships with Asia Triennial Manchester (Manchester Metropolitian University) and Digital Women's Archive North (DWAN). Our exhibitions have received funding from Arts Council England and Mophradat.
ZELLIJ ARTS exists to:
Promote the work of emerging artists working trans-nationally across geographic borders from the MENA region (Middle East North Africa) and diaspora.
Build bridges and social cohesion within the local community through the arts.
Build knowledge and engagement of contemporary art within the local community.
Act as a confluence: a crossroads for diverse cultures to exchange ideas.
Exhibitions Curator: ELIZABETH KWANT (please contact for all exhibitions/ art events enquiries).
Assistant Curator: BETHAN WILSON