What is “Merry Khushali!” about? This project presents a series of Christmas-style ornaments honouring the Ismaili Muslim celebrations called Khushali (or Khushiali) – one of which takes place on December 13. Building on memories of the artist’s upbringing as a Muslim in somewhat-secular Canada, the work references the assimilationist approach of the Ismaili diaspora. Painted […]
“50 years of Migration” is a travelling exhibition of community storytelling, celebrating diverse participant stories of migration from the Ismaili Muslim diaspora in Canada ——— presented by artist Aquil Virani in collaboration with the Aga Khan Council for Canada with a debut at the Aga Khan Museum. ”50 Years of Migration” exhibition at the Aga Khan […]
Artist Aquil Virani’s collaboration with the ROM Last year, the ROM’s #MyPandemicStory exhibition included a “response station” where visitors were invited to write responses to the prompt, “When things are better, I will…” With the help of ROM curator Justin Jennings, Toronto-based artist Aquil Virani integrated hundreds of these sticky notes into a multimedia artwork, […]
Here are some projects from a “self-guided artist residence” in Copenhagen. 1. Trampoline House is an independent community centre in Copenhagen that provides a place of support, community and purpose for refugees and asylum seekers in Denmark. After I spent some time in the community, the folks at Trampolinehuset asked me to combine collaborative art […]
Canada’s Self Portrait is a collaborative artwork about Canadian identity. Here’s the trailer: What is Canada’s Self Portrait? Canada’s Self Portrait is a collaborative art project about who we are and what we stand for as Canadians. We (Rebecca Jones and artist Aquil Virani) asked over 800 participants from all 13 provinces and territories to […]
La paix est possible (“Peace is possible”) Artist Aquil Virani asked friends on social media for phrases starting with the word, “Peace…”, remixing their suggestions into a mosaic of visual doodles. The collaborative artwork features the phrase, La paix est possible (“Peace is possible”), pulled from André Michel’s Manifeste pour la paix. The work was […]
Aquil Virani’s Artist-in-Residence video: Here is a gift. The film highlights a few projects created during the 3-week residency at Arts Underground. The artist-in-residence outcome exhibit, “Here is a gift,” featured painted portraits of two chiefs of the First Nations in the Whitehorse area of the Yukon territory that were gifted to their respective communities. […]
Artist Aquil Virani exhibited Canada’s Self Portrait at Stewart Hall Art Gallery in Pointe-Claire. Curated by Kasia Basta, the Géopoétique exhibition showcased over a dozen artwork exploring Canadian identity in collaboration with the Canada 150 initiative.