Shortlist symbol Add to shortlist button.

Type of Venue






Or Venue Name



Shortlist symbol Add to shortlist button.

image for Art Exhibition item typeEmii Alrai: The High Dam at The Tetleyadd to shortlist

  • Event data supplied by Leeds Inspired

Art Exhibition, Mon 24 Feb - Sun 10 May 2020, free entry

Emii Alrai: The High Dam

Emii Alrai: The High Dam


_The High Dam_ is a new solo exhibition by Leeds based artist Emii Alrai. Alrai's practice is informed by inherited nostalgia, geographical identity and post-colonial museum practices of collecting and displaying objects. Focusing on ancient mythologies from the Middle East alongside personal oral histories of Iraq, Alrai weaves together narratives by forging artefacts and visualising residues of cultural collision.

Often working at an epic scale, Alrai creates bold installations that recall the mode of museological displays, but which challenge accepted responses. Obviously fictional and fabricated, Alrai's installations are beguiling and intriguing. They contain elements which are broken or unfinished, and hover between the formal polish of an imperial museum, archaeological digs or the residues of a performance. Alrai asks how we might consider the decolonisation of museums spaces and sculptural practice by presenting impostor 'sculptural' works drawn from other cultures and ancient societies.

For _The High Dam_, Alrai has created an ambitious new sculptural installation taking the form of a full-scale, five metre long boat, based on a bitumen formed model found in an Ancient Akkadian gravesite. Bitumen boats were thought to be placed halfway down burial shafts, and are believed to have been used as 'demon lures', designed to trap and distract demons from pillaging grave goods buried beneath.This new sculpture acts as a display vessel, containing a series of objects, such as clay pots and sculpted animal figures. By presenting sculptures as artefacts, in a display resembling a museum diorama, Alrai's work engages with themes of nostalgia and western productions of cultural capital.

_The High Dam_ asks audiences to confront the history of the reconstruction of Middle Eastern artefacts and monuments in Western museums, whilst addressing ideas of identity, including the inherited and fragmented nostalgia between Britain and the Middle East.  

Emii Alrai participated in The Tetley Artist Associate Programme (TAAP) in 2018-19; a year-long talent development programme for emerging artists generously supported by Tetley's Beer. Find out more about our current programme here. []

Event details

Dates Times
Mon 24 Feb - Sun 10 May 2020 00:00 to 00:00


Free entry

Free entry, open daily 10am-5pm. Except Wednesdays when our galleries are open until 8pm. 

Also at this Venue

Events at this Venue

date event
Mon 24 Feb - Sun 10 May Emii Alrai: The High Dam
Mon 24 Feb - Sun 10 May Taus Makhacheva: Hold Your Horses
Wed 26 Feb Tiny Tetley
Sun 1 Mar LEAP 2020 / Shakti
Sat 7 Mar Leeds Heritage Beer Tours
Sat 7 - Sun 8 Mar Print Perform Present



The Tetley


Hunslet Road,
LS10 1JQ



See location of The Tetley on Google mapsSee location on Google maps

Map reference: SE 303330  Lat: 53.79313 Long: -1.54086

We are located in Leeds city centre, just a 2 minute walk from the main shopping area, 7 minutes walk from Leeds Train Station and 5 minutes from Leeds Bus Station.

If you’re travelling by car, we are easily accessible from the motorway network and are conveniently located right next to the Brewery Car Park.