Mr Shezad Dawood

Shezad Dawood was born in London in 1974 and trained at Central St Martin's and the Royal College of Art before undertaking a PhD at Leeds Metropolitan University. He works across film, painting and sculpture to deconstruct systems of image, language, site and narrative. Using the editing process as a method to explore meanings and forms between film and painting, his practice often involves collaboration, working with groups and individuals across different disciplines. These networks map across geographic borders and communities and are particularly concerned with acts of translation and performance.

His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including Leviathan, Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Venice (2017); Timothy Taylor, London (2016); Galerist, Istanbul (2016); Pioneer Works, Brooklyn (2015); Fig.2 at the ICA studio, London (2015); Parasol Unit, London; Leeds Art Gallery and OCAT Xi’an, China (all 2014), Modern Art Oxford (2012). And group exhibitions include: The Drawing Room, London (2017); Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2016); Taipei Biennial (2014), Marrakech Biennial (2014), MACBA Barcelona (2014), Witte de With (2013), Busan Biennale (2010), Tate Britain, Altermodern (2009), and the Venice Biennale (2009). Selected collections include Tate, Government Art Collection, UK, UBS, The British Museum, London, LACMA, Los Angeles and National Gallery of Canada.

His feature film Piercing Brightness (2013), has been screened at the ICA, London, MoMA, New York and various international festivals and museums.

Dawood is a Jarman Award nominee (2012), and one of the winners of the Abraaj Capital Art Prize (2011).



Shezad Dawood's research looks into histories of place, narrative and conjecture. These form a series of edits or cuts within the artist's larger investigation of modes of syncretism and dissonance through cinematic mechanisms as much as those traditionally associated with painting or installation.

His current research centres on examinations of how the various media the artist works with are placed into the framework of cinematic possibility.

Dawood's latest project Leviathan (2017-) was created through collaboration, working with groups and individuals across different territories including marine biologists, oceanographers, political scientists, neurologists and trauma specialists to explore the notions of marine welfare, migration and mental health and their possible interconnections .

Shezad Dawood is currently developing a major project examining faith and the unknown through performance and dramatic narrative. Comprising a feature film, an exhibition, a series of conferences, performances and live broadcasts, the project will bring together a constellation of partners including University of Westminster and Soda Film + Art.

  • Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media