Iraqi former shepherd to exhibit at Ikon

Images offer insight into post-Saddam Iraq.

This February, Birmingham’s Ikon Gallery presents the first solo exhibition of film and photography from the Iraqi artist Jamal Penjweny.

Whilst supporting himself as a shepherd and café owner in Kurdistan, Penjweny has documented life in post-war Iraq, his works appearing in international news media and at the 2013 Venice Biennale.

The exhibition includes the seminal series Saddam is Here, consisting of twelve images of Iraqi people in familiar surroundings, each holding a life-size picture of Saddam Hussein’s face in front of their own.

Of the work, Penjweny comments, “Saddam is here. Iraqi society cannot forget him even after his death because some of us still love him and the rest are still afraid of him… His shadow is still following Iraqi society everywhere.”

The exhibition opens on 19th February 2014. This is the first exhibition of Ikon 50, the programme of events marking the gallery’s 50th anniversary.