Salaam: Islamic Arts Festival

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Salaam: Islamic Arts Festival

Saturday 24 November 2007

11am – 5pm

Internationally-acclaimed artists Dawud Wharnsby Ali and Peter Sanders to headline Walsall’s “Salaam” Islamic Arts Festival…

The New Art Gallery Walsall will be hosting the first ever Salaam: Islamic Arts Festival on Saturday 24 November celebrating the very best in performing and visual arts from the local and regional muslim community. Artists already confirmed for the festival include Dawud Wharnsby Ali, Peter Sanders, Poetic Pilgrimage, Idris Phillips, Talib Al-Habib and Nusantara.  Birmingham-based artists such as vocalist Abid Baig and group Trio Muslimo will also feature as part of the all-star lineup.

Peter Sanders will give a talk about his work and his new book. Recognised internationally as one of the leading photographers of the Islamic world, Peter will discuss his new photographic book The Art of Integration and his work from the mid 1960’s to the present date.

The Festival will also be hosting a series of free, family-friendly workshops in traditional Islamic art involving the use of textiles, calligraphy and leathercraft providing a unique opportunity for visitors to proactively engage with the festival. Entry to the Salaam Festival is free with the event and workshops commencing at 11am with an opening performance from southeast asian ‘gamelan’ band Nusantara at The New Art Gallery, Walsall. There will also be traditional snacks and mint tea served throughout the day.

As part the Festival’s social responsibility agenda, Islamic Relief has been selected as this year’s partner charity. They will have an information stand at the Gallery providing visitors with an opportunity to learn more about their relief efforts and to support their work through donations.

Ioannis Ioannou, Audience Development Curator at The New Art Gallery Walsall, said: “The Festival is a recognition on behalf of the Gallery that more needs to be done in order to accurately represent and organise an event that will catch the imagination of the local and regional muslim population. The Gallery and our partners are confident that we have put together a programme of performances, workshops and talks throughout the day that will help us achieve exactly this”.

Haroon Ravat, a member of Walsall-based Islamic Village network and Artists Circle representative summed up his view of the event: “Walsall is one of those very special towns that boasts people from every corner of the world. This event is the Muslim community’s way of enriching this mosaic of people and their cultures and giving a little something back to the town we proudly and lovingly declare as our home.”

The Salaam: Islamic Arts Festival is being supported by Arts Council England, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Walsall Housing Group. The festival is a partnership between The New Art Gallery Walsall, Walsall Creative Development Team, Artists Circle and Ulfah Arts.

For further information on the Salaam: Islamic Arts Festival including programme and venue details please visit The New Art Gallery Walsall website or the Artist Circle website or speak to representatives from the participating organisations:

Ioannis Ioannou, Audience Development Curator at The New Art Gallery Walsall, on 01922 654404 or email

Haroon Ravat, Artists Circle, on 07946 488413 or email

Naz Koser, Ulfah Arts, on  07816 385147 or email

Deb Slade, Creative Development Team, on 01922 653114 or email  

Salaam Arts Festival