Shezad Dawood London based artist Shezad Dawood’s British and Pakistani rootsare reflected in his works.
“Appropriating many of his ideas from modern European and American aesthetics, Dawood generates a critical examination of identity. This series of sculptures are made of neon, entangled in tumbleweed and placed on aluminium plinths. The Bestower, The Protector, The Judge and The Majestic, utilise traditional scripts that radiate from the centre of a ball of tumble-weed, reflecting an element of the divine. Each of Shezad Dawood’s neon works reflects the artist’s interest in the ninety-nine beautiful names of God. Each attributed to Allah; the objective nouns are intended to describe every single aspect of the divine. Dawood’s neon works examine Islam as well as the doctrine of the early American frontier, since both grand ideologies were born of similarly dry and desolate surroundings. The neon works reject the rhetoric of a clash of civilisations, looking at a formal synthesis between East and West. Dawood’s works deliver a very complex set of notions that arise from symbols that are inherent to the two cultures that Dawood is familiar with. Dawood describes his attempt to formally represent notions of the divine as strongly as he represents something of the formlessness and abstraction at the heart of modern America. The disheveled tumble-weed balls that are anchored into each plinth exist as symbols of time. The sculptures also reference the history of the American West, acknowledging the rise of a new kind of social religion embedded in bold patriotism.”