While Macclesfield-born sculptors Helen Marten and David Shrigley are heralded as future art stars, a third – less assuming – artist from the town is making waves in the creative world.
Zarah Hussain, 36, has just enjoyed massive success with her sculptural installation Numina at the world-famous Barbican in London.
Her mesmerising art combines Islamic geometry, a style which uses maths to create infinite repeating patterns, with contemporary digital arts.
Zarah first discovered her love of geometric art at 12 at the former Ryles Park school, where she was inspired by her art teacher James Sheilds.
Zarah said: “While most kids were drawing still life or fruit I was doing this geometric stuff. I found the intricate designs beautiful.
“Mr Sheilds opened my mind and taught me that good art comes from something that means something to you. That was a pivotal moment for me. He was an inspirational teacher.”
Zarah, who grew up on the Moss estate, was also inspired by a school trip to London where she saw the Sensation exhibition which launched the careers of Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin.
She later studied English and History at university in Manchester, and worked for the BBC as a researcher, but she never stopped painting.
Zarah won funding to study an MA in the Visual Islamic and Traditional Art programme at the Prince’s School for Traditional Arts in London, where she spent years perfecting her techniques.
Some of Zarah’s earliest exhibitions were at the former Bar Cuba and Macclesfield Library. She has since exhibited all over the world and won the Mosaic Award for Art and Culture, presented by the Prince of Wales.
Zarah has now made London her home, where she lives with her husband and twin boys, but visits her parents who still live in the town.
Zarah described the Barbican exhibition as the ‘best thing she’s ever done’.
She said: “It’s had a fantastic reception so I am really happy.
“It’s funny when you think about how many artists from Macclesfield are doing so well. Helen Marten, David Shrigley, we are really over-representing the town in the modern art world.”
For information visit zarahhussain.co.uk