The V&A reveals its 2013 shortlist for the Jameel Prize 3, London

 Mounir Fatmi's video work
The nominees of the Jameel Prize 3 will be exhibiting their work at the V&A from 11 December. Pictured here is a still from Mounir Fatmi's video work, 'Modern Times, a History of the Machine', 2010-2012. The film looks at architecture in the Middle East, addressing in particular the impact of relentless human intervention with the advent of contemporary architecture. Courtesy of the artist and Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Santa Monica
(Image credit: Press)

When the V&A began to collect Islamic art in the 1850s, it broke ground as the first institution in the world to do so. The museum still faithfully champions this mission to this day, promoting – and also rethinking – traditional Islamic art in a contemporary framework, most notably with the conception of its biennial Jameel Prize.

The shortlist of artists and designers has now been revealed for the third edition of its £25,000 art grant, which is awarded to artists and designers examining Middle Eastern art, craft and design through a contemporary filter. First launched in 2009, the Jameel Prize explores the link between modern art practices and Islamic traditions as part of a wider dialogue on Islamic culture and the role it serves. 

A judging panel that included Thomas Heatherwick, Martin Roth and previous winner Rachid Koraïchi whittled down 270 entries from across the global to just ten finalists. But it will be some time before the victor is revealed: starchitect (and patron of the Jameel Prize) Zaha Hadid will present the hotly contested award to the overall winner on 10 December.

The nominees include textile designer Rahul Jain, who will showcase intricate Indo-Iranian textiles from his Varanasi drawloom workshop, and Parisian artist Laurent Mareschal, who works with ephemeral household materials to create site-specific installations. Florie Salnot is presenting jewellery pieces from her ongoing 'Plastic Gold' project, while calligrapher Nasser Al-Salem creates conceptual ink drawings based on the Arabic language. From furniture to fashion to typography, this year’s finalists work across disciplines as eclectic as their cultural backgrounds, which is what will make the exhibition of their shortlisted artworks all the more intriguing when it opens at the V&A in December.

'Tranquil Pool', by Waqas Khan

'Tranquil Pool', by Waqas Khan, 2012. Khan works through the night - without a magnifying glass no less - to create his detailed pointallist drawings. The monotony of this process lulls the printmaker into a trance, enabling him to create works that organically evolve from simple dots into hypnotising patterns. Courtesy of the artist and Sabina Armani Art Gallery

(Image credit: Press)

'Hollow', by Faif Ahmed

'Hollow', by Faif Ahmed, 2011. Ahmed deconstructs compositions of Azerbaijani carpets by randomly rearranging their elements and combining these with contemporary sculptural forms to give traditional rugs a modern spin. Courtesy of Yay Gallery.

(Image credit: Fakhriyya Mammedova)

'Hagia Sophia', by Dice Kayek

'Hagia Sophia', by Dice Kayek, 2009. Turkish sisters Ece and Ayse Ege - the duo behind shortlisted fashion label Dice Kayek - will show three couture pieces from their Istanbul Contrast collection, including this white satin coat. Inspired by the interior of its namesake in Instanbul, the coat features an intriticate embroidery, hand-stitched with antique glass beads. Courtesy of Dice Kayek.

(Image credit: Dice Kayek Archive)

'Plastic Gold', by Florie Salnot

'Plastic Gold', by Florie Salnot, 2010 - ongoing. Unique to the Florie Salnot's practice is a technique she developed to refashion discarded plastic bottles into jewellery using hot sand, basic hand tools and paint. The RCA graduate will present necklaces and bracelets inspired by the traditional jewellery of the Saharawi women of the Sahara desert. Courtesy of Florie Salnot

(Image credit: Dominic Tschudin


'The Birds of Paradise', by Rahul Jain

'The Birds of Paradise', by Rahul Jain, 2008. Textile designer and historian Jain set up ASHA, a traditional Indian drawloom workshop in Varanasi with the aim to preserve local weaving skills and techniques that date back centuries. He will be showing examples of the workshop's Indo-Iranian textiles, woven in silk and silver gilt thread. Courtesy of Lekha and Ranjan Poddar collection, New Delhi.

(Image credit: Ashok Dilwal)

'Kul', by Nasser Al0Salem

'Kul', by Nasser Al0Salem, 2012. This is one of two works the calligrapher will present at the finalists exhibition; the expression 'kul', which means 'everything' or 'all', is inked repeatedly by the artist on paper to create a ripple effect alluding to God's creation. Courtesy of the artist and Athr Gallery

(Image credit: Press)

'Beiti', by Laurent Mareschal

'Beiti', by Laurent Mareschal, 2011. Parisian artist Mareschal works with ephemeral household materials (such as spices, soap and food) to create site-specific installations based on decorative Palestinian tiles. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Marie Cini.

(Image credit: Tami Notsani)

'Concrete Carpet', by Nada Debs

'Concrete Carpet', by Nada Debs, 2010. Furniture and product designer Debs cites Far Eastern philosophy as inspiration for her approach to Middle Eastern craftmanship. She blends concrete inlaid with mother-of-pearl to create a Persian rug divided into 28 panels, each featuring a letter of the Arabic alphabet in a bespoke font created by Pascal Goghbi (also shortlisted for the prize). Courtesy of Mathaf.

(Image credit: Marino Solokhov)

'Arabic Letter Ha', by Pascal Zoghbi

'Arabic Letter Ha', by Pascal Zoghbi, 2011. As one of the few designers working in the relatively new field of contemporary Arabic typography, Zoghbi is interested in adapting Arabic calligraphy into new typefaces using the structure and proportions of traditional letters. He will be showing examples from his 29LT Fonts Collection. Courtesy of the artistADDRESS

Victoria and Albert Museum
Cromwell Rd
London SW7 2RL

(Image credit: Press)


Victoria and Albert Museum
Cromwell Rd
London SW7 2RL