Major new exhibition at Attenborough Arts Centre explores identity, gender, global politics and consumer culture


The University of Leicester’s Attenborough Arts Centre, in partnership with New Art Exchange, Nottingham, is proud to present a major touring exhibition of Faiza Butt’s work, ‘Paracosm’, which will occupy all three of its new galleries.

Painting on canvas depicting a main in a turban with flowers and butterflies around him

Placebo for my warriors, Faiza Butt

The free public preview takes place on Friday 14 October, 5pm – 8pm and is a chance to see the artwork for the first time at Attenborough Arts Centre, enjoy a free drink and meet the artist.

The title of the exhibition ‘Paracosm’ refers to the noun meaning: a detailed imaginary world created inside one’s mind. Visitors are invited to journey through this vision, to question what is fantastical and what is real, and to consider the potent power of the image in influencing popular opinion.

‘Paracosm’ explores artist Faiza Butt’s practice over two decades and comprises of a rich collection of work ranging from drawings to digital prints, light works and sculptural installation. Butt’s practice is rooted in the traditional craft of Indian miniature painting and the social-political context of Pakistan where she was born and educated. The exhibition examines a range of subjects including identity and gender, global politics and consumer culture.

Whilst being an art student in London, Butt questioned the hierarchy of Western art history as the ‘only’ art history of the world. Educated by both eastern and western art training, Butt’s works combines two artistic influences that make her works unique and refreshing.

Digital artwork of two nail clippers overlaid with detailed jewel-like patterns

‘Mouth of your eyes-4’ digital print mounted on light box

She produces works with felt tip pens and enamel paint that are obsessively crafted and hover somewhere between photography and embroidery. Her artworks are based on pictures scavenged from the media and advertising. In a bid to connect with the widest audience, and in response to the snobbery towards beauty in contemporary art, Butt deploys candy-shop colours and familiar forms to capture the spectator’s interest before connecting them with globally important and sometimes controversial questions.

‘Artists have a purpose in society. You do not make art to make anyone comfortable or to amuse people. Art is a language, a code through which you hope to make a difference.’ – Faiza Butt.

The exhibition continues until Sunday 18 December and the galleries are open Monday – Saturday 10am – 5pm and Sunday 12 noon – 4pm.

As part of the exhibition there will be free debates, lectures, tours and family workshops. All events are free but booking is advised. To book please visit: or call the box office: 0116 252 2455.