A quick coupling of two stories this morning: the first, from Pakistan, where the art scene is playing out the sectarian divisions in society, in the gallery.
The works are powerful, bold and challenging, incorporating religious symbols, flesh, blood and bullets:
Imran Mudassar balances one of his latest pieces, “Secret Love”, on his knees, a diptych of a golden bullet and human heart against interwoven Islamic motifs.
“I’ve started to incorporate the clashing of the Shi’ites and Sunnis into my work,” the 31-year-old artist, who is secular Sunni, told Reuters at Government College University, where he is also a lecturer.
In “Religious Landscape”, he decorated a seven-foot high white canvas with designs from the Koran, Islam’s holy book. Red gashes resembling flesh have been torn across it.
“Both faiths adhere to the Koran, but they fight over the Koran, too,” Mudassar said of the piece, which sold for 135,000 rupees ($1,400) after being exhibited last month.
Meanwhile, in Scotland, the flesh is used in an alternative form by the artist Rowan Corkill, who embraces mortality and death in his exhibits.
Particularly striking is Portrait of a Species, in which Corkill features in a number of shots with an array of dead animals suspended from his mouth.
Challenging the discourse on prey, predator and man, Corkill draws on his fascination with antiques, taxidermy and photography to create stark, surreal imagery.
For more on Corkill and his works, click here.