Pakistani artist Imran Qureshi was selected by 14-18 Now WW1 Art Commissions to produce a number of pieces of artwork (site specific) to contribute towards the centenary commemoration of WW1. The idea was to commission different artists from all art forms to look afresh at this conflict and create shared experiences exploring this significant moment in time. The artwork included new art, theatre, film, dance, digital, music, poetry and mass-participation events.
Imran’s artwork ‘Garden within a Garden’ is a place of tranquillity and safety. Launched on the 22nd June in Bradford, Cartwright Hall (Mughal Water Gardens) has hosted the new Indian garden, painted directly on to the paving by the acclaimed Pakistani artist. The garden is inspired by the history of the million-strong British Indian army that fought in the First World War, Qureshi transforms a public space into zones in which light and dark mix, where horror and hope collide. He has also taken this approach to another site in Bradford’s city centre (City Park). Here he has taken inspiration from the surroundings, more specifically the pool in Centenary Square. Reflection is encouraged by the viewer, this piece won’t necessarily conjure images of war, death, life…but is perhaps a reminder of other factors that has an impact on our world today such as global warming.
The brief was to document the whole process across the two sites. Capturing Imran up close as well as seeing the overall development.
Producing two videos, one specifically on Imran and his artwork as well as another video, which covers Imran and the involvement of local artists and their art, whether it be song writing, poetry, sculpture etc. We were also required to provide short clips for display purposes.
Although Cartwright Hall have commissioned artist before it has never been undertaken actually at the museum itself, therefore being able to capture the process was key.
Filming over two weeks our main purpose was to document the process and see the artwork evolve. We wanted to see how Imran approached the work and capture what we could in a visually engaging way. This was achieved using different techniques. For the piece in the Mughal Gardens at Cartwright Hall we visited several times over the two weeks, as well as using our Canon 5D MK111 camera (static and handheld) we also had GoPro cameras set up recording time-lapse footage.
The area at City Park had been covered so we could fix our GoPro’s to the structure and set them going during specific periods when Imran was working. As the City Park commission was the faster of the two to complete we quickly saw the progression and completion and captured this with the GoPro cameras.
Using a Canon C300 we recorded an interview with Imran once the work had been completed. The idea behind the interview was to allow Imran to give context to the work. He described his background and how he approached this commission. The interview will form the main part of the video, suing the piece to camera as well as using it as voice over whilst we see the development of the artwork.