Artist Faiza Butt hopes to make a difference in this politically-charged touring art exhibition

Posted by pt91 at Aug 26, 2016 04:26 PM |
Attenborough Arts Centre to host ‘Paracosm’ from 14 October to 18 December

Issued by Attenborough Arts on 22 August 2016

Photo/media opportunity: Meet Faiza Butt and attend a private tour between 3.30pm – 4pm on Friday 14 October at Attenborough Arts Centre

Images of artworks available to download at:

The University of Leicester’s Attenborough Arts Centre, in partnership with New Art Exchange, Nottingham, is proud to present a major touring exhibition of Faiza Butt’s work, ‘Paracosm’, which will occupy all three of our new galleries.

The free public preview takes place on Friday 14 October, 5pm – 8pm and is a chance to see the artwork for the first time at Attenborough Arts Centre, enjoy a free drink and meet the artist.

The title of the exhibition ‘Paracosm’ refers to the noun meaning: a detailed imaginary world created inside one’s mind. Visitors are invited to journey through this vision, to question what is fantastical and what is real, and to consider the potent power of the image in influencing popular opinion.

‘Paracosm’ explores artist Faiza Butt’s practice over two decades and comprises of a rich collection of work ranging from drawings to digital prints, light works and sculptural installation. Butt’s practice is rooted in the traditional craft of Indian miniature painting and the social-political context of Pakistan where she was born and educated. The exhibition examines a range of subjects including identity and gender, global politics and consumer culture.

Whilst being an art student in London, Butt questioned the hierarchy of Western art history as the ‘only’ art history of the world. Educated by both eastern and western art training, Butt’s works combines two artistic influences that make her works unique and refreshing.

She produces works with felt tip pens and enamel paint that are obsessively crafted and hover somewhere between photography and embroidery. Her artworks are based on pictures scavenged from the media and advertising. In a bid to connect with the widest audience, and in response to the snobbery towards beauty in contemporary art, Butt deploys candy-shop colours and familiar forms to capture the spectator’s interest before connecting them with globally important and sometimes controversial questions.

‘Artists have a purpose in society. You do not make art to make anyone comfortable or to amuse people. Art is a language, a code through which you hope to make a difference.’ – Faiza Butt.

The exhibition continues until Sunday 18 December and the galleries are open Monday – Saturday 10am – 5pm and Sunday 12 noon – 4pm.

As part of the exhibition we will host free debates, lectures, tours and family workshops. All events are free but booking is advised. To book please visit our website: or call our box office: 0116 252 2455.

Drop-in Family workshops

Saturdays 22 October – 17 December, 1pm - 3pm, FREE booking advised or sign up on the day.

Explore themes, materials and ideas from the exhibition with our friendly learning team and expert artists. No experience needed.

Diwali Family Extravaganza

Saturday 29 October, 11am – 2pm, FREE booking advised

Celebrate the festival of lights with a special day of family activities based on Faiza Butt’s new exhibition. Explore the artworks and learn more about the themes and ideas that bring the works to life. Discover the world through media and materials, work with artists ad learning staff to create fun crafts, play with colour and make this festive season a memorable one!

Guided tours

Wednesdays, 2 November and 7 December, 12.30pm – 1.15pm. FREE, booking advised.
Join our curators, gallery assistants and learning staff for a deeper insight into the exhibitions and the ideas behind it.

Attenborough Forum: Faiza Butt in conversation
Thursday 10 November, 6.30pm - 8pm, FREE booking advised

Join exhibiting artist Faiza Butt and New Art Exchange curator Armindokht Shooshtari for a thought-provoking discussion about contemporary art. This in-conversation event will give you a deeper insight into Faiza Butt’s extensive body of work on show in the Attenborough Arts Centre galleries. The event will include an audience Q&A with a chance to ask the artist your own questions.

Attenborough Forum: Paracosm Presents

Thursday 1 December, 7pm – 8.30pm, FREE booking advised

Discover the world through art with an evening dedicated to celebrating Faiza Butt’s colourful, poignant and powerful art works. Live performances will draw upon the themes in her work in new and exciting ways, adding multiple facets to understanding the ideas that Faiza’s art expresses.


Notes to Editors:

Further details are available from Lucy Stevens at email, tel (0116) 223 1525.

About Attenborough Arts Centre

The University of Leicester’s Attenborough Arts Centre prides itself on being accessible and inclusive. With over 18 years of experience, the programme offers courses and workshops, contemporary art, performance and live art, theatre and comedy, live music and jazz, dance, activities for children and families, and more. It is proud to champion emerging talent and disability-led performance companies, supporting those starting their careers. Its outstanding access and inclusive work has been recognised, through multiple awards and grants from Arts Council England, British Council, BBC Children in Need, Leicester Shire Promotions and Paul Hamlyn Foundation. Its audience has grown to 55,000 people over the last year.

Attenborough Arts Centre is part of the University of Leicester’s Division of External Relations. Its new exhibition programme will significantly contribute to the University’s corporate social responsibility, wider public engagement and strategic research goals. It will specifically explore issues of human identity and inter-cultural interactions, promote inter-discipline, attract high-calibre collaborators, and encourage new imaginative approaches that culminate in exhibition projects.

Arts Council England

Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2015 and 2018, we plan to invest £1.1 billion of public money from government and an estimated £700 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.

About New Art Exchange

A contemporary art space committed to stimulating new perspectives on the value of diversity within art and society. New Art Exchange is the largest space in the UK dedicated to culturally diverse contemporary visual arts, and is rooted in the community with a strong history of working with minority communities. Past exhibitors include: Yinka Shonibare, Zarina Bhimji, John Akomfrah, Rashid Rana, Zineb Sedira, Nari Ward, Christian Marclay and Elizabeth Price (British Art Show 7), Leo Asemota, Raghu Rai, Lindsay Seers, J. D. 'Okhai Ojeikere and Hetain Patel. NAE’s mission is to raise the impact, profile and development of culturally diverse contemporary visual arts and artists in a global context by: nurturing and promoting creative talent locally and worldwide, creating thriving creative businesses, and engaging minority ethnic communities as audiences and patrons of art.

Paracosm by Faiza Butt is a touring exhibition produced by New Art Exchange, Nottingham.

Faiza Butt is represented by Rossi & Rossi Gallery and Grosvenor Gallery, London.

This exhibition has been made possible through financial support from Arts Council England.

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