Raqib Shaw Whitworth Gallery Review

Raqib Shaw  – Whitworth Gallery, Manchester.  A refreshing change from the norm.

If you haven’t taken a trip to the Whitworth Gallery already this summer then treat yourself to a brew in the relaxing Whitworth cafe and check out Raqib Shaw’s solo exhibition.  If, like me, you enjoy a little fantasy and opulence once in a while, then this is a must see.

Drawing on his family’s troubled past in India, current politics and Indian mythology, Kashmiri born Shaw’s surreal paintings and sculptures are fantastical, weird and wonderful with overtones of irony and eroticism. Rich in detail and colour, Shaw’s paintings are incredibly intricate and he even includes his family dogs within the scenes which are often luxuriously encrusted with rhinestones for extra opulence.

Inspired by an ancient Byzantine pottery technique known as ‘cloisonné’, Shaw’s unique painting practice involves a process of outlining each individual motif with embossed gold using a porcupine quill, then pooling and meticulously manipulating enamels and metallic paints to create a jewel-like surface – pretty impressive, I’m sure you will agree.

The exhibition is on until November so there is plenty of time to catch it.

For more information on Raqib Shaw go to




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