Imtiaz Dharker is Artist in Residence for Chester Literature Festival.
Between 10 – 30 November Chester Literature Festival returns to the city for its annual celebration of words and ideas.
This year award-winning poet, filmmaker and artist Imtiaz Dharker joins Storyhouse as artist in residence with her brand-new striking poem entitled Storyhouse: inspired by Dharker’s visit to the building and the community she met there.
The poem will be emblazoned across Storyhouse’s spaces alongside stunning hand-drawn illustrations. It explores shelter, hope and rebirth, forgiveness and the strength that can be found with a sense of community and belonging.
Storyhouse’s former artists in residence include Ted Hughes winner Hollie McNish and winner of the PEN Pinter prize Lemn Sissay MBE.
Imtiaz Dharker said:
“Storyhouse is more than a library, reading room, cinema, theatre, café. For the thousands who walk through its doors, it is a welcoming space, a safe haven, a meeting-place for all kinds of unexpected stories. I see it as a huge breathing book, alive with possibilities, ready to tell you a new story, or rewrite an old one, every time you turn a corner or a page.”
Set to be installed for a year, verses from Dharker’s poem alongside her illustrations will be installed on walls, doors, staircases, mirrors, windows, balconies and ceilings.
Imtiaz Dharker is a poet, artist and video film-maker. She was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 2014. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, she has been Poet in Residence at Cambridge University Library and has worked on several projects across art forms in Leeds, Newcastle and Hull, as well as the Archives of St Paul’s Cathedral. She has had eleven solo exhibitions of drawings around the world, and scripts and directs video films, many of them for non-government organisations working in the area of shelter, education and health for women and children in India.
“Whether Imtiaz Dharker writes of exile, childhood, politics or grief, her clear-eyed attention brings each subject dazzlingly into focus. She makes it look easy, this clarity and economy, but it is her deft phrasing, wit and grace that create this immediacy”. – Carol Ann Duffy
She divides her time between London, Wales and Mumbai. She says she describes herself as a “Scottish Muslim Calvinist” adopted by India and married into Wales.
All of Dharker’s installations can be viewed for free, and no booking is necessary.