Pendle artists’ work on show in Australia’s Islamic Museum

The first Islamic Museum of Australia opened in February – and it featured the works of two Pendle artists, Sabah Arbilli and Shahida Ahmed.

Shahida, who attended Marsden Primary School, Edge End High and Nelson and Colne College, has a permanent piece in the ceramic collection at the new museum.

Shahida and Sabah in Australia at launch of the Islamic Museum. (S)

Shahida and Sabah in Australia at launch of the Islamic Museum. (S)

Both Sabah and Shahida flew to Melbourne for the opening of the museum. And, later this year, they have been invited to return to the museum for solo exhibitions, featuring new collections.

Shahida said: “It has been an overwhelming opportunity and moment of pride and joy for us to go across the world and share our work with people in Australia.

“The museum is unique and the first of its kind. I had never thought this opportunity would come for us.

“I am proud to represent being British but more so to represent Pendle on a global map!

“Art is a universal language which is about building bridges and having a universal dialogue.”

Shahida’s artwork was a carved sculpture in ceramics.

Sabah performed a live art-painting show on a blank canvas, specifically made for a permanent piece there. He also painted the outer wall of the museum.

Shahida said: “I feel humbled and honoured and, more so, privileged to share our success with our local community in the UK.

“I have been fortunate to have works showcased around the world and inspire other members in my community.”

She is based at Higherford Mill Artist Studios and her work has already appeared around Pendle, as well as worldwide. Sabah’s work has also been widely seen.

Both had their art on display in Washington, USA, last year. Shahida has also been invited to exhibit her works in July in Sharjah in the Middle East.