Rachid Koraïchi, an Algerian-born artist has won the prestigious £25,000 Jameel Prize from London’s Victoria and Albert museum
Rachid Koraïchi, an Algerian-born artist has won the prestigious £25,000 Jameel Prize from London’s Victoria and Albert museum. His work, a selection of embroidered cloth banners entitled Les Maitres
invisibles (The Invisible Masters) won the prize for their design value and reliance on traditional craft. The judges particularly lauded the great spiritual and intellectual lineage portrayed in his work. Koraïchi used Arabic calligraphy, and symbols and ciphers from a range of other languages and cultures to explore the lives and legacies of the 14 great mystics of Islam. The work aims to show that the world of Islam, in contrast to contemporary perceptions of crisis and violence, has another side entirely, evident in the tolerant and sophisticated writings of great Muslim thinkers and poets such as Rumi and El Arabi. These ‘masters’, whose fame has spread even to the West, left an imprint on successive generations and their message is just as relevant today as when first written down.
Rachid Koraïchi, said: “When the announcement was made my first reaction was one of surprise - but of course, also, one of great pleasure. I think the quality of the artists shortlisted meant that any one of us could have been chosen. I think that taken all together we represent the immense talent and creativity of the world of Islamic art as it exists in
Awarded every two years, the Jameel Prize is an international art prize for contemporary artists and designers inspired by Islamic traditions of craft and design. The Prize aims to raise awareness of the thriving interaction between contemporary practice and the rich artistic heritage of Islam, and to contribute to a broader debate about Islamic culture. An exhibition of work by the winner and nine other short-listed artists and designers
runs until 25 September. The exhibition will then embark on an international tour travelling to venues across the United States and Europe including the Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris in winter 2011/12; the Casa Árabe, Madrid in spring/summer 2012; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in autumn 2012; and Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University in winter 2012/13.