Press release: Layers of Paradise exhibition launch – Thursday 23 October


‘Layers of Paradise’ is young artist Romina Khanom’s first solo exhibition. A heady and decadent experience, the exhibition will feature illustrations and installations inspired by Arabesque and Islamic art. The exhibition launch will take place on Thursday, 23 October at 6.45pm.

Romina has described the process of the exhibit coming together “like a story unfolding.” Though her work varies in terms of element and form, the connections between pieces were made stark once they were in the same space.

Her artwork is involved in the process of transformation; she is invested in the idea of recycling and reusing pieces of art. Taking machine-made traditional carpets, she makes them her own through the use of stencils and paint. How can the traditional be made new and different? These are the questions Romina asks with her art.

Informed by both the Islamic world and her own cultural background, Romina takes elements of the two and infuses them. This results in interesting dichotomies and clashes. Audiences are also given a chance to interact with the art. Romina’s carpets are not simply laid down upon the floor; instead they hang from the walls as well. IHRC’s typical ‘prayer area’ is also converted to become part of the exhibit. It will act as an installation where people will be able to pray on the artwork. Curator of the exhibition Nasreen Shaikh Jamal al-Lail says: “we’re able to raise questions about what art is and how we interact with it. The aesthetic of a rug is pleasing but its use is mostly practical – how does that change when you cut delicate, intricate patterns into it?”

Notes to Editors:

– ‘Layers of Paradise’ is curated by Nasreen Shaikh Jamal al-Lail

– The exhibition is FREE

– The exhibition launches on Thursday, 23 October 2014 at 6.45pm

– The launch will take place at the IHRC Bookshop & Gallery, 202 Preston Road, Wembley, HA9 8PA (Nearest tube: Preston Road / Metropolitan Line)

– The IHRC bookshop and gallery is open on Monday – Friday from 9am – 5pm and on Saturdays from 10am – 5pm

– For more information, interviews or image requests please contact

– Trailer for the exhibition is here: