Runa Islam

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Runa Islam
Born (1970-12-10) 10 December 1970 (age 52)
EducationRoyal College of Art

Runa Islam (Bengali: রুনা ইসলাম; born 10 December 1970) is a Bangladeshi-born British visual artist and filmmaker based in London. She was a nominee for the 2008 Turner Prize. She is principally known for her film works.[1]

Early life[edit]

Islam was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh and moved to London aged three.[2] She attended the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam, from 1997 to 1998.

In 1999, Islam exhibited at EASTinternational which was selected by Peter Doig and Roy Arden. She completed a M.Phil at the Royal College of Art, London, in 2004.


Islam has been inspired by European auteurs such as Jean-Luc Godard.[3]

In 2005, she participated in the Venice Biennale.[4] Islam's 2006 16mm film installation Conditional Probability was the result of a residency at North Westminster Community School, in the final year before its closure.[5] It was first exhibited at the Serpentine Gallery and was said to "imbue even the most mundane dusty corner with a little visual magic".[6] The other artists included in the project to document the life of the school before it closed were Christian Boltanski, Faisal Abdu'allah and the architect Yona Friedman.[7]

In 2010, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (MCA) presented Runa Islam's first solo exhibition in Australia. Works included Magical Consciousness (2010), co-commissioned by the MCA and the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal (MACM)[8] and Scale (1/16 Inch = 1 Foot) featuring the now demolished Trinity Square (Gateshead) multi-storey car park.

Islam says, "I feel I've got a lot to say with film. The camera can go to impossible places. It can re-articulate time. Films from other epochs allow you to go back in time. But so much of contemporary life is also envisioned through film and TV. We remember people we've never met because we've seen them on a screen."[2]

Awards and nominations[edit]

In 2008, Islam was nominated for the 2008 Turner Prize.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fortnum, Rebecca (2007). Contemporary British Women Artists: In Their Own Words. I B Tauris & Co Ltd. p. 132. ISBN 978-1-84511-224-0.
  2. ^ a b Davies, Serena (10 December 2005). "A cable car named desire". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 13 July 2021. Islam was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, moving to London, now her base, when she was three.
  3. ^ Herbert, Martin (January 2006). "Cinematic affects: the art of Runa Islam". FindArticles. Retrieved 16 October 2008.
  4. ^ Spanier, Samson (July 2005). "Venice Biennale news". Retrieved 13 May 2008. Apollo
  5. ^ "Runa Islam Conditional Probability". Serpentine Gallery. October 2006. Retrieved 25 October 2010.
  6. ^ Sooke, Alastair (31 October 2006). "In a class of her own". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 11 June 2008. Retrieved 5 August 2021.
  7. ^ Smithers, Rebecca (11 July 2006). "Gone but not forgotten". The Guardian.
  8. ^ "Museum of Contemporary Art, Runa Islam". Archived from the original on 8 April 2011. Retrieved 5 September 2010.
  9. ^ "Turner Prize: Nominees profiled". BBC News. 18 May 2008. Retrieved 1 May 2012. Runa Islam

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