Mahtab Hussain

Mixed media

British artist Mahtab Hussain (b. 1981) explores the significant relationships between identity, heritage and displacement.  His themes develop through long-term research, articulating a visual language that challenges the prevailing concepts of multiculturalism.

He received his BA in History of Art at Goldsmith’s College, London, specialising in Fine Art Photography (2002); his MA in Museum and Gallery Management from City University, London (2006).  He completed his MA in Photography at Nottingham Trent University in 2013.

His ‘You Get Me?’ series focused on young working class Asian men in contemporary Britain.  The exhibition was curated by Mark Sealy and launched at Autograph ABP, London in 2017 before travelling on to Impressions Gallery, Bradford and Gallery Oldham. His ‘Going Back Home to Where I Came From’, series made in Kashmir and Pakistan explored ideas around homeland, loss, memory and the overview effect was exhibited at New Art Gallery Walsall. His ‘Honest With You’ series is about femininity, sisterhood, resistance and political defiance of British Muslim women.

Mahtab Hussain has been recipient of numerous awards and commissions including; Ikon Gallery, Birmingham; New Art Exchange, Nottingham; Arts Council England and Arts Humanities Research Council.  He was also winner of the Curators Choice Award, Culture Cloud at New Art Exchange and Format 13 Portfolio Review Award for most significant review. Hussain was selected as the 2015 Light Work + Autograph ABP Artist-in-Residence, and was chosen from 500 international artists to be ‘discovery artist’ under the prestigious Discoveries Award in 2016 at Houston FotoFest.

Mahtab Hussain has published four artist books. You Get Me? published by MACK books with the support of Arts Council England  received the Light Work Photobook Award for 2017. Going Back Home to Where I Came From is published by Ikon Gallery, supported by Arts Council England and The British Council. The Quiet Town of Tipton was published by Dewi Lewis and commissioned by Multistory and The Commonality of Strangers was published by New Art Exchange supported by Arts Council England.

Mahtab Hussain’s work has been featured on BBC and published in articles from The Guardian, The Economist, The Financial Times, The Independent, Vanity Fair Italia, New York Times, Metro, Buzzfeed, Dazed and Confused, Elephant Magazine and Aperture to name a few. Mahtab Hussain is featured on the prestigious BBC 4 documentary ‘What Do Artists Do All Day?’ and was part of a series on BBC Radio 4 titled ‘Snapshot.

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Everyday Heroes

Mahtab Hussain has made two portraits for the Everyday Heroes exhibition. Printed at over five metres high and displayed in the outdoor spaces around the Hayward Gallery and the Southbank Centre. The right one features Dr A Shahid, a dermatologist who continued to work throughout the crisis, while heavily pregnant. Dr Shahid’s infant son Ember also features in the photograph.

Selected
artworks

Worker of the land , 2016

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Blades of grass , 2016

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Sand and timber , 2016

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Young girl playing in river , 2016

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Niece picking corn , 2016

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Mangla Dam , 2016

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Man on bus , 2016

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Garden Rake , 2016

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Door detail from my mother’s home , 2016

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Concrete, steel and earth , 2016

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Chai Walla , 2016

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Boy with grass , 2016

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Albino cow with rope , 2013

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A row of salwar kameez’s , 2016

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Red hijab, red dress and bling , 2013

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Black dress, blue nails, cricket bat , 2013

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Burka, phone and car keys , 2013

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Girl with balloon , 2013

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Young lady smoking sheesha , 2013

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Black cap with Guja hair design , 2012

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Friends, curry sauce n’ chips , 2012

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Shemagh, beard and bling , 2012

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Young boy, bike, Spiderman , 2012

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Young man asleep , 2012

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    Projects

    The work of Mahtab Hussain forms part of a major new public exhibition in King’s Cross Tunnel and the surrounding area alongside other leading international artists. Curated by Ekow Eshun and in partnership with the Fund for Global Human Rights, the exhibition faces the crippling effects of COVID-19 and its impact on marginalized communities, and the ways in which the consequences of inequality and racism have been exposed this year.

    Mahtab Hussain has made two portraits for the Everyday Heroes exhibition. Printed at over five metres high and displayed in the outdoor spaces around the Hayward Gallery and the Southbank Centre.

    The Quiet Town of Tipton was commissioned by Multistory and published by Dewi Lewis as part of an ongoing body of photographic work and archive that documents life in Sandwell and the Black Country. For nearly two years Mahtab Hussain worked closely with Muslim residents in Tipton, making a series of photographic portraits and places he found.

    The National Gallery invited artist Mahtab Hussain to discuss the power of the sitter in Moroni’s ‘The Tailor’ and his own portraiture.

    As part of the Big British Asian Summer season, the documentary “What Do Artists Do All Day?” celebrates prominent Asian artists and performers and followed Mahtab Hussain on his latest projects.

    ‘You Get Me?’ exhibited at Autograph ABP and curated by Mark Sealy (2017)

    Exhibition of ‘The Commonality of Strangers’ series at New Art Exchange

    ‘Going Back Home To Where I Came From’ exhibited at New Art Gallery Walsall

    Exhibition of the ‘Identity formations’ series at the mac Birmingham arts complex.

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