Light and Shadow

Light and Shadow

Anila Quayyum Agha (b. 1965) is a Pakistani-American artist creating illuminated environments from patterns of light and shadow. The works, on view at Toledo Museum of Art, evoke the sacred, taking inspiration from Islamic architectural motifs found in mosques and historic sites. Floral and geometric shapes are cast across the gallery walls, ceiling and floor – transforming the room into a space for reflection and complete immersion.

Anila Quayyum Agha (Pakastani-American), This is NOT a Refuge! 2, 2019, laser-cut, resin-coated aluminum; light bulb, 93 x 58 x 72 inches. Installation at Talley Dunn Gallery, Dallas, TX, 2019.

The artworks take shape as monumental cubes, small houses, octahedrons and tetrahedrons, each asking questions about exclusion, displacement and belonging. In this way, Agha responds to her own personal experiences. The artist explains: “Having lived on the boundaries of different faiths such as Islam and Christianity, and in cultures like Pakistan and the United States, my art is deeply influenced by the simultaneous sense of alienation and transience that informs the migrant experience.”

The exhibition is open until 9 February. Find out more here.

Lead image: Anila Quayyum Agha (Pakastani-American), Intersections, 2013, wood, single light bulb, 6.5 feet cube. Site-specific installation at Rice University Art Gallery, 2015.