Emii Alrai, The High Dam at The Tetley, 2020. Photography: Jules Lister.

Emii Alrai

Emii Alrai (b. 1993, Blackpool) is an artist based in Leeds. Alrai’s practice is informed by inherited nostalgia, geographical identity and post-colonial museum practices of collecting and displaying objects. Focusing on the ancient mythologies from the Middle East alongside personal oral histories of Iraq, Alrai weaves together narratives by forging artefacts and visualising residues of cultural collision.

Often working at a large scale, Alrai mainly creates sculptural installations that recall the mode of museological displays and diorama. They contain elements which are broken or unfinished, and hover between the formal polish of an imperial museum, archaeological digs or the residues of a performance. Drawing references from objects in museum collections, ancient writing from the Middle East and cultural memories, her work questions the value and origins of artefacts, as well as navigating the experience of diaspora.

For Yorkshire Sculpture International 2019 she worked as an Engagement Artist with community group Dominion Training in Wakefield and The Hepworth Wakefield. Alrai has a solo exhibition The High Dam at The Tetley in Leeds until 29 November 2020

Engagement Project: Dominion Training

Emii Alrai: The High Dam at The Tetley

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