Zarah Hussain trained at the Prince’s School of Traditional Arts for an MA in Islamic art in 2004. Her practice has since evolved into a visual study of how spirituality, technology and art intersect. Working across many mediums, including animation, sculpture and painting, she combines the pattern making skills of traditional geometry with contemporary art.
"I was the first artist to explore how algorithms could be used to animate Islamic pattern and my first work of this kind was commissioned by Cartwright Hall (Bradford, West Yorkshire) in 2005. It is now in the permanent collection of this museum. My most recent works include 'Invisible Threads', an animated light installation for the 2018 Barnaby festival in Macclesfield. This work looked into the hidden or 'invisible' history of migration in the town and 'Numina', a large scale sculpture with a digitally animated 3D surface was commissioned by the Barbican in 2016.” ‘Numina’ combined designs found in the art of the Islamic world with state of the art projection technology.
At the Islamic Art Festival in the Sharjah Museum in 2015/16, Hussain presented 'Sharjah Spectrum', an installation that projected digital animations onto 3 gallery walls. Another projection project was dispolaying animated geometry onto the exterior of the William Morris gallery in 2015. This work, 'Magic Carpet', was also used to provide background visuals for the 2015 ‘Transcender’ music festival at the Barbican.
Hussain’s painting and sculptural works have been exhibited extensively in the UK and abroad and she was awarded the Lumen prize for digital arts in 2017. In 2021 the renowned Essex Peabody Museum in Salem Massachusetts staged an exhibition of Hussain’s ‘Breath’ paintings. In 2021/2022 a major touring solo-exhibition toured museums in the UK. ‘Light upon Light’ visited Rugby Art Galleryand Museum; Gallery Oldham and The Atkinson, Southport. Also in 2022 her work was selected by Grason Perry for inclusion in the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.
She lives and works in London.