Sunday September 19, 2021

Yousefzada’s art adorns Birmingham dept store

July 28, 2021

BIRMINGHAM: A new monumental public art commission made by an artist of Pakistani-Afghan origin and spanning 10,000 square metres on the façade of a large department store in Birmingham, has been unveiled.

The new art commission by multi-disciplinary artist Osman Yousefzada is outside the Selfridges Birmingham store. The building, famous for its bulbous blue shape and large silver disks, is now covered by the world’s largest canvas showcasing Yousefzada’s black and pink patterned design, a press release said.

This new art installation, co-commissioned with Ikon, Birmingham, entitled Infinity Pattern 1 is nearly 50 meters in height and 250 metres in length and weighing five tons.

Infinity Pattern 1 addresses the issues of race, labour and migration, which have shaped Birmingham’s past and present, but also carries a deep sense of optimism, connectivity and hope.

For Osman, who is Birmingham-born, and the son of Pakistani-Afghan migrants, the work contains some autobiographical elements, but at its core it stages the concept of a world without borders, whether physical or imaginary, represented by the endlessly tessellating pattern.

This public artwork “part of Selfridges long-established commitment to supporting creativity in the cities its stores call home” — will remain in its completed state until the end of the year.

It will be dismantled progressively next year whilst major renovation work to the store, started last winter, comes to an end just ahead of the Commonwealth Games. Osman’s design was chosen following an international competition led by Ikon, Birmingham, the esteemed art gallery.