Quirky Zimbabwe-born artist Asiya Clarke has a new exhibition opening next week at the Departure Lounge in Luton’s George Street.
It consists of a stairwell installation created specially for the location and doubles as a unique showcase for her paintings, drawings and photographs.
Asiya, 59, of Clarendon Road, said: “It’s called Pareidolia, or finding meaning in random images.
“I’m making a picture that hangs down four flights, based on the human digestive tract.”
In addition there are other works inspired by her love of nature and in particular light, water, stones and the human body.
The mother-of-three has been a follower of Sufism – a religion she describes as ‘the spiritual aspect of Islam’ – since her student days at Cape Town university.
“I always thought there was more to life than the every day,” she explained. “The mind is capable of so much more than we’re aware of. Human perception is limited only by our knowledge and understanding.”
Her studio is full of amusing artefacts and every day items she’s turned into intriguing composites. There’s a large dried sunflower as well as the hose from a tumble drier and a pair of tights stretched over scrap metal.
She’s hopes her exhibition will encourage people to think on a different level and she’s delighted to be at the Departure Lounge.
She said: “I love the name – it depicts a place where the imagination can take off.
“It’s a temporary experimental gallery occupying office space in the centre of Luton.
“It was set up by Trevor Horsewood and Matthew Shaul, who’s exhibitions organiser at the University of Hertfordshire.” She added: “It’s been generously funded by a number of bodies, including Luton Culture, who recognise the need for a gallery in Luton and also see the arts as a valuable way of regenerating the area.”
> Pareidolia opens at the Departure Lounge on Friday, October 4. The gallery is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday afternoons from 2pm to 6pm.