During her childhood, Pakistani-American artist Anila Quayyum Agha had to pray at home because the culture dictated that women were excluded from the mosque. This was a rather unfortunate setback since a mosque can be a place of creativity and community.
One fateful day, she went to visit the Alhambra in Granada, Spain. Originally a castle fortress built by the Muslim rulers of Spain, it is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. The interior of the site is covered with the beautiful, complex, geometric, and interwoven designs integral to medieval Islamic art and architecture.
This was the source of inspiration for her “Intersections” exhibit, as she says she found in the Alhambra the complex expressions of both wonder and exclusion that had been her experience while growing up in Lahore, Pakistan. Her work seeks to make a reminiscent space that is open to all, where there are no boundaries or separations.