Sharif Persaud (1994) is a self-taught artist who lives and works in Hastings where he attends Project Art Works, the award-winning artist-led project space. Sharif makes films, drawings, paintings and mono-prints which explore his unique way of navigating the world as a person with autism, including his frequent use of a cardboard Al Murray mask in public and a very developed interest in bodily functions, diseases, healthcare, hospitals and benefits. His work is by turns funny, arresting and fresh and a wonderful demonstration of how art can provide a powerful platform to directly communicate the experiences of autistic individuals, as well as opening opportunities for dialogue and collaboration.
Sharif will receive his first solo exhibition in 2020 with Have You Ever Had at Autograph Gallery, London (28th February – 28th May). His work has been featured in group exhibitions including Putting Ourselves in the Picture (2019) Fabrica and In the Realm of Others (2015) De La Warr Pavillion. He wrote and directed the short film, The Mask (2017), which went on to win Best Story at Osaka Bright Film Festival in 2017 and has been shown in numerous screenings across the world including, The Other Film Festival in Melbourne, the Discover Film Awards in London and the British Film Institute Collection, Disabled Britain on Film.
“Sharif has unique ways of communication that do not necessarily follow socially acceptable norms. He is curious about the world and affable with others. Placing himself at the centre of his work, Sharif explores identity through his experience of life and autism” - Kate Adams, Artistic Director and CEO, Project Art Works.