CV

Visual Arts Centre - Christ’s College, Cambridge. CB2 3BU. United Kingdom.

  • Lector in Art at Christ’s College, Cambridge University.
  • Fine Art Tutor at Cambridge School Visual and Performance Arts.
  • Languages spoken: Arabic, English and Russian.

 

Education

1993 – 94 Wimbledon School of Art, London, Theatre Design/ Scenography.
1985 – 90 Repin Institute of Fine Arts, Leningrad (St Petersburg), Fine Art & Architecture.
1980 – 84 Institute of Fine Arts, Damascus, Syria, Fine Art/Painting.

 

Works in Public Collections

  • Sound Palimpsest, loose-leaf pages originally making up a wall installation. Ink and collage on paper. Acquired by the Department of the Middle East of the British Museum, 2008; displayed in Iraq’s past speaks to the present, an exhibition coinciding with and complementing the Museum’s exhibition Babylon: Myth and Reality, 2009.
  • Sketchbook acquired in 1997 by the Department of Prints and Drawings of the British Museum, containing studies made in St Ives, Italy and Spain between Sept 1994 and March 1995.
  • A Cambridge Palimpsest: the official gift to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge from the City of Cambridge, to mark their first visit on 28 November 2012. https://www.christs.cam.ac.uk/default/news/palimpsest-presented-duke-cambridge
  • Contemporary Art Museum, Chiapas, Mexico.
  • Repin Institute of Fine Arts & Architecture, St Petersburg, Russia.
  • Contemporary Art Platform, CAP Kuwait.
  • Private and collections in England, France, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Spain, Syria and USA.

 

Residencies

1998 – ongoing Artist in Residence, Bye Fellow at Christ’s College, Cambridge University.
1992 Jul – Sep Artist in Residence at Na–Bolom Museum, Chiapas, Mexico.
1982 – 84 Artist in Residence at the Soviet Culture Centre, Damascus.

 

Selected solo shows

2016 July Another Day Lost: 1,906 and counting ... , Budapest. https://spp.ceu.edu/article/2016-06-29/syrian-artist-issam-kourbaj-reflects-home-through-intricate-installations
2016 May Another Day Lost: 1,888 and counting ..., MAA Cambridge. http://www.arch.cam.ac.uk/about-us/heritage/CHS17
2016 April Another Day Lost: 1,849 and counting ... , Alwan for the Arts, New York. http://www.alwanforthearts.org/event/1134
2016 March Another Day Lost: 1826 and counting ... , installation, Art Week Dubai. http://alserkalavenue.ae/en/event/8a3e700a-def3-11e5-a61e-f23c9161897b/index.php
2016 Feb - March Another Day Lost: 1808 and counting ... , installation, Twelve Gates Arts, Philadelphia . http://twelvegatesarts.org/exhibitions/anotherdaylost
2015 Dec - 2016 Jan Another Day Lost: 1735 and counting ..., installation- Trinity Wall Street, New York. https://www.trinitywallstreet.org/artasadvocacy
2015 July Another Day Lost: 1579 and counting ..., installations in 5 London locations, part of Shubbak. http://www.shubbak.co.uk/another-day-lost/
2014 Sep – Oct Unearthed (In Memoriam), installation in St Peter’s Church, Cambridge. http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk/exhibitions/2014/kourbaj/index.php
2014 July UNEARTHED, to support MSF Syria Crisis Appeal, P21 Gallery, London. http://www.p21.org.uk/UNEARTHED.aspx
2014 January Scattered, Gathered, Artist books, with Nizar Sabour, CAP Kuwait, Kuwait. http://capkuwait.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/SCATTERED-GATHEREDSmall.pdf
2013 March Excavating the Present, in collaboration with Oxfam’s Syria Crisis Appeal. http://www.issamkourbaj.co.uk/flash_site/assets/FinalPressRelease.pdf
2010 Nov Intimate Distances, Camera Obscura images of Christ’s College, Visual Arts Centre, Christ’s College, Cambridge.
2005 July The EyeCone, Cambridge, a Camera Obscura spire for Great St Mary’s Church.
2004 ≈≈ Last light, first light, Open Studios, Cambridge.
2003 ≈≈ Palimpsest, Open Studios, Cambridge.
2002 ≈≈ Recent work, Open Studios, Cambridge.
2001 ≈≈ Constant change, a farewell to my studio in Albert Street, works from 1990–2000.
2000 Nov is / am, in collaboration with my then three–year–old son Mourad, Cambridge.
2000 July Juxtaposition, with the Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs.
1999 Nov “+ / –”, printing plates. July, KWAD, Open Studios, Cambridge.
1998 Nov Sketch, with Fateh Moudarres. Open Studios, Cambridge.
1996 July Newnham College, Old Laboratory and Waterstone’s Booksellers.
1995 ≈≈ Round Church Studio, Cambridge.
1994 April Churchill College, Cambridge.
1993 Feb Emmanuel College, Cambridge.
1992 City Theatre, Tuxtla, Chiapas, Mexico.
1984 The Soviet Culture Centre, Damascus, Syria.

 

Selected group shows

2016 April Into Boundless space I leap. Maxwell Centre, Cambridge. http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk/events/maxwell/
2015 September Another Day Lost: 1649 and counting .... installation, off-the-wall, HQS Wellington, London. http://issamkourbaj.co.uk/off-the-wall/
2015 May – Jun Between Thought and Space. Dilston Grove, London. http://www.cgplondon.org/exhibition_thumbs.php?exhibition_id=491&show_rand=0&show_biog=0&locale=DILSTON%20GROVE
2014 Sep – Nov Between Thought and Space. Camberwell Space, London. http://events.arts.ac.uk/event/2014/9/29/Between-Thought-and-Space/
2011 July – Jan 2012 The British Museum, Modern Syrian Art. https://www.britishmuseum.org/pdf/BM%20Syrian%20Art%20Booklet%20FINAL.pdf
2010 April De La Warr Pavilion, Modern Times: responding to chaos.
2008 Nov – March 09 The British Museum, Iraq's past speaks to the present. http://www.britishmuseum.org/pdf/Room%2034%20Islamic%20Gallery%20Booklet%20FINAL.pdf
The ING Discerning Eye exhibition 2008, Invited Artist.
2006 Nov Kettle’s Yard Open, Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge.
2006 Lines of Enquiry, Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge.
2003 Aug Cadogan Contemporary Gallery, London.
2003 July RegArts Plus Gallery, Paris.
2003 June Babylon Gallery, Ely, Cambridgeshire.
1997 and 2000 Kettle’s Yard Open, Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge.
1991 Westminster Gallery, London.
1989 Repin Institute of Fine Arts & Architecture, Leningrad, Russia.
1988 International Cultural Friendship Centre, Moscow, Russia.
1987 Aurora Publishers, Leningrad, Russia.
1986 Institute of Russian Language, Baku, Azerbaijan.
1984 – 85 Association of Fine Art, Damascus, Syria.

 

Commissions

2011 River Severn and Cam, Glass sculptures in collaboration with Richard Bray.
2009 Ten portable Camerae Obscurae, and six Camera Obscura photographs of Kettle’s Yard, as part of Upside down/inside out, a retrospective of artists’ interventions within the house.
Light Within, Life Without: ten Camerae Obscurae, five adult-size and five child-size, for viewing on the University Botanic Garden as part of its Summer Garden Party, celebrating the University’s eighth centenary.
2001 Imprint: garden structure, private commission, North Cambridge.
2000 Without the action there is no reason, commissioned by the then Mistress of Girton College, Cambridge, Professor Dame Marilyn Strathern.
1996 Migration: 17 wooden abstract structures at Waterstone’s Booksellers.
1992 Dream: abstract mural for Emmanuel College, Cambridge.

 

Scenography/installation

2011 Let Newton Be! stage production by Menagerie Theatre, UK & USA Spring Tour. http://www.menagerietheatre.co.uk/productions/archived/newton/creative-team/
2009 Light Matter: contemporary dance performance at the University Senate House, celebrating 800 Years of Science through Art. Let Newton Be! Theatre production by Menagerie Theatre, in Trinity College. Cambridge, and subsequently in the University’s Lady Mitchell Hall. Light Reproduction: an installation to accompany the conference ‘In Vitro Human Embryos’ at Christ’s College Cambridge.
2008 Liquid fire: an installation to accompany Gavin Alexander’s reading of Book I of Milton's Paradise Lost, at the English Faculty, University of Cambridge.

 

Works on Loan

1995 – 2000 Select paintings from my times in Mexico, Russia and England, exhibited at the residence of Prof. Sir Aaron Klug, former President of the Royal Society.

 

Limited Edition

2009 A Cambridge Palimpsest: a layered map puzzles, in collaboration with the Cambridge Archaeological Unit and the letterer Jon Harris; published by CUP. http://www.cambridge.org/uk/bookshop/news/news_0005.htm
2010 Intimate Distances, a collaborative work, images of Christ’s College: exteriors projected into historic interiors by pinhole and recorded by digital photography.

 

Teaching Experience

2010 – ongoing The Making of Art” Seminars, Dept of History of Art. Cambridge University.
2010 - ongoing Design Review, Department of Architecture, Cambridge University.
2008 RMJM Architects, Cambridge, experimental drawing workshops.
2000 – 2011 Visiting Artist at the Department of Architecture, Cambridge University.
2003 –06 Visiting Artist at the Department of Engineering, Cambridge University.
1990 – ongoing Fine Art Tutor at Cambridge School of Visual &Performing Arts, Cambridge. Sporadic Cambridge workshops in: Kettle’s Yard House and Gallery, the Arts Theatre, the Institute for Manufacturing, the Institute of Astronomy, Botanic Garden, in five museums (Fitzwilliam, Whipple, Sedgwick, Zoology, Anthropology & Archaeology), two public studios (White House Arts and Cambridge Artworks Studios), at 2005 and 2006 University Science Festivals, and at 2008 and 2009 University Festivals of Ideas.

 

Collaborations

2009 Dec Analemma, animation with Dr Nicholas Mee, Plus Magazine http://plus.maths.org/issue53/features/mee/
2009 Nov Transmutations, workshop with poet Ruth Padel on Word and Image, held in Christ’s College, Cambridge.
2009 Sep Revisiting the Familiar, workshop with phenomenological psychotherapist and psychiatrist Dr Miles Clapham, held at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge.
2009 July Learning to See, with the poet Helen Mort, held at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge.
2008 March The Planets, creative arts-science workshops with astronomer Dr Carolin Crawford, held at Cambridge University Institute of Astronomy.
2006 July Drawing workshop with the paleontologist Dr Jenny Clack, conducted at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge.
2006 March The Wonderful World of Buckminster Fuller, workshop with the engineers Allan McRobie, Simon Guest and Bob Connolly, held at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge.

 

Public talks

2014 Oct In conversation with Andrew Nairne. Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge. http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk/learning/talks/lectures/
2014 Jul Unearthed event with Venetia Porter. P21 Gallery, London.
2012 Feb Tracing my journey, Alwan for the Arts, New York. http://alwanforthearts.org/event/820
2011 Dec Modern Syrian Art, British Museum.
2008 Nov Proposals for new Art Installations, Homerton College, Cambridge University.
2008 Feb My Journey as an artist, Christ’s College and Trinity Hall, Cambridge University.
2006 Nov The EyeCone Project, in Great St Mary’s Church, as part of the City seminar organised by CRASSH (Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities) Cambridge.
2006 May The EyeCone Project, Martin Centre for Architectural & Urban Studies, Department of Architecture, Cambridge University.
2006 March The EyeCone Project, Lady Mitchell Hall, Science Festival, Cambridge University.

 

Media Coverage

2014 http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/arts/visualarts/article4245925.ece
http://gulfnews.com/arts-entertainment/performing-visual-arts/outpouring-of-grief-1.1363408
http://monocle.com/radio/shows/the-monocle-weekly/263/
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/veronique-mistiaen/syria-crisis_b_5530726.html
2012 http://www.arabnews.com/node/403575
2001 Sins of the Fathers, essay by Andy Martin, Tate Art Magazine. http://www.andymartinink.com/?page_id=55
2001 April Imagination, creativity, and human mind, BBC Open University.
2000 Nov Helping dad with his work, article by Andy Martin, the Guardian.
2000 Oct Work in progress, BBC Radio 3.
2000 Sept Issam Kourbaj and Cambridge University Collection of Air Photographs, Antiquity Magazine.
1998 Aug Road from Damascus, profile by Andy Martin, The Independent on Sunday.