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Upcoming artwork

Mahtab Hussain

Please take a seat, 2023

Mahtab Hussain has been selected by The Line’s inaugural Youth Collective to develop his first public realm sculpture. As part of The Line’s Visible / Invisible project, Hussain has developed a sculptural bench that acts as a photographic prop, encouraging the sitters to examine and consider their ideas, thoughts and feelings and share them to the world.

In the 14th century, Tuscan civics built benches in public spaces for “theatrical or tribunal purposes”, these benches helped convey a sense of civic action. Today, the park bench is associated as a functional object somewhere for people to sit and rest, but these are spaces where deep and intimate conversations and connections still take place. Please take a seat is moving the park bench beyond its everyday functionality in the contemporary world, bringing it back to its purpose and meaning from the Middle Ages to offer a sense of civic action.

The design of the bench nods to Victorian traditions of civic architecture and will be imbued with local references which will be researched and developed with the Youth Collective’s input, reflecting on the history of Stratford and what it means to be a young person in this area of dynamic transformation and flux.

The interactivity of the piece will inspire viewers to become participants by sharing their portraits and comments, a growing online archive will be generated capturing perspectives on people and place.

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British artist Mahtab Hussain (b. 1981) explores the important relationship between identity, heritage and displacement. Hussain’s You Get Me? series debut in the UK at Autograph ABP, London in 2017, curated by Mark Sealy, it reached an audience in excess of 2m through print, online coverage, TV, and radio with prominent featured articles The Guardian, The Economist, The Independent, Vanity Fair, New York Time, Metro, Buzzfeed, Dazed and Confused. He received his BA in History of Art at Goldsmith College specialising in Fine Art Photography; his MA in Museum and Gallery Management, City University, London; awarded an Arts Humanities Research Council (AHRC), he completed a MA in Photography at Nottingham Trent University.

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