The “UK’s first and largest gallery of Islamic art” at the Bradford factory

A “one-of-a-kind” Islamic art gallery in a factory in Bradford is said to be the first such experience in the UK and Europe.

Artz-i Islamic Art & Gift Gallery has transformed part of an old mill on Longside Lane into a space dedicated to Iranian, Spanish, Turkish, Egyptian and Baghdadi art.

Founder Mohammed Rasul moved the former Artz-i store from downtown to create a one-of-a-kind shopping experience.

It attracts customers from all over the American and British continent.

Mohammed, who has traveled the world and worked for many iconic fashion brands in New York, said: “We do a lot of research just to find our competitors, but nobody really does what we do.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Artz-i Islamic Art and Gifts Gallery in Bradford Artz-i Islamic Art & Gift Gallery in Bradford (Picture: NewsQuest)

“It’s amazing when people walk into the gallery or when we have exhibitions and they just say ‘Wow’.

“You can enter freely to enjoy something very different that you have probably never experienced before. It’s so good for kids to see and be inspired.

“We always encourage people to come for a walk.”

He added: “I have a lot of artists from Baghdad. Having been destroyed by war, it’s really cool that I can continue to work with them and they get a source of income.

“There’s nothing like an old mill, the old trusses on the ceiling. It creates a trendy vibe. It gives that artistic feel.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Artz-i Islamic Art and Gifts Gallery in Bradford Artz-i Islamic Art & Gift Gallery in Bradford (Picture: NewsQuest)

“This mill has a lot of history.

“Most of my sales are online – 80% are online. Of that 80%, I would say 40% are international. Of that majority is America. America loves that stuff London is important to us.

The walls are full of exclusive custom-made, faith-driven artwork – from 99 stones bearing the names of Allah and depictions of camels in the desert, to scannable QR codes for readings from the Quran.

There are thousands of traditional and modern Islamic-inspired artwork to view, making it one of the largest galleries for Islamic art.

Artz-i currently employs seven people, including part-time roles, who also create artwork in the on-site studio.

As you walk around, the cafe is open for refreshments.

Mohammed, who grew up in Manchester, said: “In December 2014 we opened. Covid arrived so we moved from there. It was sad to leave space.

“I had the option of leaving Bradford.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: the team at the Artz-i Islamic Art & Gift Gallery in Bradford The Artz-i Islamic Art & Gift Gallery team in Bradford (Picture: NewsQuest)

“There is something about Bradford that few cities have. There is a chemistry that no other city can offer. From retail to Bradford, it was amazing how non-Muslims looked at the art. They were like, is this part of Islam? It was beautiful for me. I thought, I don’t want to leave this somehow. This dynamic kept me in Bradford.

“It’s the people who make a place. That’s what I felt in Bradford, this beautiful fluidity.

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