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What are artists thinking and doing now? We hope you enjoy watching the sixth in our Three Questions series, with artist Issam Kourbaj.

Francesca Bertolotti-Bailey, Acting Head of Programme of Kettle’s Yard, says: ‘The idea for the series was inspired by Jim and Helen Ede, the founders of Kettle’s Yard. They hosted, commissioned and collected artists all of their life. Most of their friends were artists, and artists were undoubtedly the people they respected and trusted the most. So in this moment of uncertainty, it only makes sense for us to turn to artists and their worldviews to help make sense of our new normal. Over the coming weeks, I am asking artists who have worked at Kettle’s Yard to answer to three questions with a short video. Enjoy!’

Watch Francesca’s introduction to the series here.

Watch artist Issam Kourbaj’s response, filmed in his studio in Cambridge, England.

Issam Kourbaj, Kettle’s Yard Upside Down, 2009, camera obscura photograph, 1 of 6 postcards, courtesy of the artist

About Issam Kourbaj

Issam Kourbaj (Syria, 1963) comes from a background of fine art, architecture and theatre design. He trained in Damascus, St Petersburg and London. Since 1990, he has lived and worked in Cambridge, where he has been an Artist in Residence and a Lector in Art at Christ’s College. He is interested in collaborating with other creative science and humanity disciplines, and has produced work using different forms of camerae obscurae, inspired by the work on optics of 11th century Arab physicist Hasan Ibn Al-Haytham. Currently, Issam Kourbaj is focusing his practice on the Syrian Crisis and reflecting upon the destruction of his own cultural heritage.

Issam Kourbaj was part of ‘Actions’, a major group exhibition in two parts that marked the grand reopening of Kettle’s Yard in 2018. In 2014, he had a solo presentation in St Peter’s Church.

Issam Kourbaj performing at ACTIONS LIVE, photo: David L Hone

Instagram: @issamkourbaj

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