Latifah A. Stranack

‘The Ancestors Waited and Watched’

 21st – 25th November 2019

Preview: Wednesday 20th November 2019

The Brick Lane Gallery The Annexe, 93 – 95 Sclater Street, E1 6HR


Latifah A. Stranack is an emerging British-Omani contemporary artist whose first solo exhibition ‘The Ancestors Waited and Watched’ will be held at the Brick Lane Gallery in London on the 21st – 25th November 2019, with a special invite only preview on Wednesday the 20th November.

The relevancy of her art is matched by the poignancy of its far-reaching subject matter and is not to be missed. She is an exciting artist to watch. Not only is she creating a dialogue about some of the most piercing issues facing humanity today, but she is also a female artist that in a timely way directly addresses the historically absent female gaze.

Attendees to the exhibition will be treated to a collection of innovative and compelling visual pieces, in a space that echoes the intimacy and openness of her work.

The show consists of multi-layered figurative and landscape abstracts, with a dream-like quality and distinctive use of vivid colours. Some pieces may almost seem like objects of material culture that have an organic indigenous quality to them yet mixed with the sophistication of a well-travelled cosmopolitan, with strong Middle Eastern influences throughout. Through her imagery, she explores what it is to be human in the face of socio-political crisis like war, forced migration and exile. Weaving innovative narratives over mixed media and fabric covered canvases, she tells moving and cathartic tales of ancestry and family across displacements of culture, time and loss. She invites her audience to explore human resilience and vulnerability, feeling out how inextricably connected we are through global challenges- regardless of race, religion and gender.

Stranack has an incredible ability to powerfully penetrate the roots of our shared humanity- the connections that universally bind and the urgent conflicts that divide us. Complex emotive and urgent humanitarian subjects are examined through a lens of beauty, anthropological intelligence and an ocean of compassion, by an artist who has lived through them in her own life and, of course, the life path of her ancestors.

Speaking of her inspiration behind the exhibition, she said:

Ancestry interests me because my father died when I was young, and so a lot of my paternal family history is unknown to me. The sadness of this loss inspires me to create work about family connection and disconnection, as I experience them personally as a woman of mixed heritage and also within the wider context of current affairs.

 Visionary in its conception, her work explores the creative process of hybridisation that emerges when cultures collide and connect; giving rise to a new sense of universal identity that expands self-perception. In a world of instant and relentless media immediacy with the struggles of strangers across the globe, there has never been a greater time for an artist of Stranack’s insight, sensitivity and talent to give voice to the pressing-need for belonging and resilient identity.